Hungry, Yet In A Hurry….Here Are the Healthiest Fast Food Salads


Cooking Light rounded up the salad menus from a handful of the top national fast food chains. They compared nutrition numbers, refined their list, and then went through their drive-thru to sample the salads for themselves. There were, of course, some losers, but we successfully found some clear winners: as in healthy, delicious, salads that—yes—the Cooking Light dietitians, would order while on the road.

Overall Winner: Chick-Fil-A Grilled Market Salad : The fresh apples and blueberries, crunchy Harvest Nut Granola, and grilled chicken helped this salad stand out and clinch the top spot on our list.

Nutrition info: Calories 330; Fat 14g (sat 2.5g); Protein 27g; Carb 26g; Fiber 6g; Sugars 12g; Sodium 670mg; Vitamin A 240% DV

Runner Up #1: Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad: Fresh, juicy apples and tasty candied pecans really made this salad. Oftentimes fast food grilled chicken is ho-hum, but the grilled chicken on this one was among the best of the bunch. The sodium is a bit high in this salad (44% of your daily limit), but this salad has the least sodium compared to the others on the Wendy’s menu.

Nutrition info (for the full size): Calories 560; Fat 24g (sat 7g); Protein 38g; Carb 52g; Fiber 7g; Sugars 40g; Sodium 1020mg; Potassium 23% DV; Vitamin A 100% DV

Runner Up #2: McDonald’s Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad: This salad had lots of flavor thanks to the Southwestern vegetable blend (corn, beans, pepper) and chili lime tortilla strips (that were reminiscent of Doritos). And, surprisingly, ordering the crispy chicken instead of grilled saves you sodium and gives you more fiber.

Nutrition info: Calories 520; Fat 25g (sat 6g); Protein 28g; Carb 46g; Fiber 8g; Sugars 9g; Sodium 960mg; Vitamin A 180% DV

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