If you’re the type of person who goes to a fast food (or fast casual) restaurant and orders a salad, we’re willing to bet it’s because you care about eating a healthy meal. You know you should be eating a certain amount of vegetables a day, and that salads will help you do that.
But just how nutritious are salads at these restaurants? Here’s the thing: it varies, by a lot. Some salads can make for healthy meal, while others can pack more calories, fat and sodium than a Big Mac.
We rounded up the updated nutritional information on popular salads you can find at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell ― yep, they make a salad ― and Panera. The findings were somewhat surprising: while we weren’t shocked to learn that a taco salad served in a fried shell is probably the least healthy salad choice out there, we were surprised to learn that you really can get a healthy salad option at some of the other chains.
Check it out ― in order from most caloric to least caloric ― and eat smarter: