5. Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Salads to have with BBQ


We kinda love Whoppers. We bet you do, too. Meat, ketchup, mayo, pickles . . . what's not to like?

How could we endorse the Whopper? Well, no one orders it thinking it's a sensible menu choice. It's an indulgence, and everyone knows it. Credit Burger King for being transparent with nutritional information.

Just as you wouldn't order a Whopper because you're trying to watch your waistline, you'd never order a salad because it sounds like the most delicious item on the menu. No, it's a concerted effort put one of the healthiest foods on the menu into your body, flavor be damned.

Except, more often than you realize, that salad is the worst choice on the menu. Restaurants across the country have learned that "nutrition" sells, so they put these caloric calamities on the "light choice" side of the menu with cute little heart icons that make you think you're making a healthy selection. We've rounded up 19 examples of salads so bad, you'd be better off ordering that Whopper after all.

Burger King Whopper

670 calories, 40 g fat (11 g saturated, 1.5 g trans), 1, 020 mg sodium

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad

880 calories, 16 g saturated fat, 1, 650 mg sodium

Romano's has been one of the most responsive restaurants in the past few years — a number of items we've featured on our pages and online have shrunk or all but disappeared in the wake of such exposure. The bad news is that dishes like this one still exist on their menu.

Warm Spinach and Shrimp Salad

440 calories, 5 g saturated fat, 1, 600 mg sodium

Cobb Salad

713 calories, 55 g fat (12 g saturated), 1, 331 mg sodium

Learn to Lighten Up! On sandwiches and salads that include Cosi Vinaigrette, this little phrase will switch you to fat-free vinaigrette. Easiest 300-calorie savings ever. Ordering salad out is risky business, but this Shanghai standby offers plenty of lean protein and fresh vegetables without the normal salad pitfalls:

Shanghai Chicken Salad

319 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 856 mg sodium

Chicken Salad with black beans, red salsa, cheese, and chipotle honey vinaigrette

720 calories, 41 g fat (11 g saturated), 2, 015 mg sodium

If you're seeking solace in salads at Chipotle, be sure to pass on the one and only vinaigrette on the menu. With 260 calories and 25 grams of fat, it has three times more calories than the most caloric salsa at Chipotle. Your best bet is to turn the tangy green salsa (just 15 calories per serving) into your dressing and spend the 245 calories you save elsewhere.

Barbacoa Burrito Bowl with black beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomato salsa

415 calories, 17 g fat (8 g saturated), 1, 410 mg sodium

Chicken Chopped Salad with Ginger Dressing

730 calories, 48 g fat (8 g saturated), 1, 280 mg sodium

The ginger dressing gives this salad a tangy Asian-style kick; it also packs in a whole day's worth of sodium. Order this salad as a starter and you'll be consuming the caloric equivalent of nearly three Snickers bars before your main meal even hits the table.

Spinach Stir-Fried with Garlic (large)

159 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated), 900 mg sodium

Fiesta Taco Salad

770 calories, 42 g fat (10 g saturated, 1 g trans), 1, 420 mg sodium

Deep-frying an oversize tortilla and using it as a salad bowl completely defeats the purpose of ordering a salad in the first place. No matter what you stick in it, it's still going to be burdened with a dangerous load of greasy fat. Opt for the hard-shell taco instead. It's still the best option on the menu after all these years, especially now that it's available Fresco-style.

Fresco Crunchy Beef Tacos

450 calories, 21 g fat (7.5 g saturated), 750 mg sodium

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