Fast food… salad?

SaladThe fast food industry has finally started offering more healthy eating options. For those of us that are always on the go and on some days (or most) have little or no time to prepare dinner, quick and easy salads have become a crutch to the fast-paced individual that is still looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I happen to be one of those time crunched, always on the run type of people and for a very long time, fast food has NOT been an option for me because of the lack of healthy choices. Not anymore! There are a couple of fast food restaurants that now offer salads that appear to be healthy and make consumers think they are making a good choice in choosing an entrée salad, as opposed to a burger, French fries and pop. My concern is, is choosing the salad actually a healthier choice when it comes down to cost, calorie intact and food content. That is what I am prepared to find out…

I have had salads from both Wendy’s and McDonald’s and once you get over the fact that you are eating a salad from a fast food chain, they are pretty tasty! Burger King also has a line of salads, none of which I have had the opportunity of trying, however, for the sake of being inclusive, I have included them in my comparison! I prefer Caesar salad and luckily for me, all three chains mentioned above have their own variation of a chicken Caesar salad.

In terms of taste, I personally have to give my top vote to McDonald’s. They use Rene’s Mighty Caesar dressing, which packs a zesty garlic punch, includes a respectable amount of cheese and bacon, and they add a seasoning sauce to their grilled chicken that adds delicious flavour to the salad as a whole. Wendy’s is also good, but I prefer more cheese and bacon on my salad than they ever add to the top. All three chains, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King, give you the option of grilled or breaded chicken, and croutons come on the side, which is a bonus because I avoid those carbs by not adding the croutons!

Because the entrée salad you order from any fast food chain is considered a meal in itself, the chain assumes you don’t require a beverage, or feels the need to gouge it’s healthy choice customers by requiring them to order a beverage, instead of including one within the entrée salad “meal”. This to me is slightly frustrating, as I am trying to make a better choice for myself, however, it has yet to stop me from ordering a salad as opposed to a burger combo. With that said, it is clear to me in terms of the cost of the salads themselves, Wendy’s has the most outrageous pricing. Here in Victoria a salad will cost $8.49, plus the additional 12% HST tax, to bring your salad to $9.51 without beverage. McDonald’s salads are much more affordable, at $6.99, for a total of $7.83 with HST taxes. Burger King is a little more affordable than McDonald’s and charges $5.99 and with HST taxes you are looking at $6.71. Again, what is most disappointing with these prices is the fact that you do not get a beverage with your salad.

Now, this is where things get interesting. McDonald’s and Burger King are in line with one another when it comes to calories – they are both between 230-250 calories per salad. Wendy’s has a whopping 740 calories! That is more than three times the calories of the others. Pretty high if you ask me… It’s also higher in fat, sodium, and carbs, by a long shot. With that said though, in Wendy’s defense, they are significantly higher in protein content, so you won’t be looking for a snack quite as quickly as after eating the McDonald’s or Burger King salad.

Calories Fat Sodium Carbs Protein
McDonald’s Mighty Caesar 230 14g 480 mg 14g 5g
Wendy’s Spicy Caesear 740 49g 1860 mg 41g 37g
Burger King’s Tendergrill Caesar 250 14g 860 mg 8g 23g

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After all of the analysis and comparisons, my opinion really has not changed. The thought of a salad from Burger King is slightly frightening, and the Wendy’s salad has a huge number of calories for a high cost but doesn’t seem to come with as much satisfaction as McDonald’s. McDonald’s is my salad destination. In a pinch, on the run, or just because I want to, they have the best tasting, most reasonably priced salads and that’s where I will continue to eat.


Now, this is where things

All in allget interesting. McDonald’s and Burger King are in line with one another when it comes to calories – they are both between 230-250 c

Calories Fat Sodium Carbohydrates Protein
McDonald’s Mighty Caesar 230 14g 480 mg 14g 5g
Wendy’s Spicy Caesear 740 49g 1860 mg 41g 37g
Burger King’s Tendergrill Caesar 250 14g 860 mg 8g 23g

alories per salad. Wendy’s has a whopping 740 calories! That is more than three times the calories of the others. Pretty high if you ask me… It’s also higher in fat, sodium, and carbs, by a long shot. With that said though, in Wendy’s defense, they are significantly higher in protein content, so you won’t be looking for a snack quite as quickly as after eating the McDonald’s or Burger King salads. For the specific nutritional value, see below:

Calories

Fat

Sodium

Carbohydrates

Protein

McDonald’s Mighty Caesar

230

14

480 mg

14g

5g

Wendy’s Spicy Caesear

740

49

1860 mg

41g

37g

Burger King’s Tendergrill Caesar

250

14

860 mg

8g

23g

kristykulyk

About 

From Victoria, British Columbia

Kristy was born in the interior of British Columbia, but soon after moved to beautiful Victoria. She considers herself to be an “island” girl and hasn’t (and likely won’t) leave the city she grew up in. After graduating high school Kristy attended Camosun College and then went onto the University of Victoria, earning an Associates Degree and Bachelor of Arts along the way. She now works for a real estate development company in Victoria’s suburbia.

With her spare time Kristy enjoys seeing friends and family, camping, being outside, as well as fulfilling her creative needs by painting, cooking and dabbling here and there with interior design. She also takes time to give back to the community by organizing events/projects that benefit different charities and organizations in her community. As a part of giving back to the community, Kristy volunteers with an agency in Victoria, providing emotional support to those who have been traumatized/victimized. One of her biggest passions is food – whether it be cooking it, eating it, smelling it or imagining it. She chooses to live a more low-carb type of lifestyle and so finding and experimenting with foods that have a lower carbohydrate content is what really gets her excited. With that said though, she does take advantage of what she likes to call, “cheat days”, where she eats whatever carb-filled food she likes. (Everyone needs cheat days…)

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2 Responses

  1. So this means McDonalds is the best trusted salad makers. We must not look at the price, but the healthiness it gives to consumers. McDonalds in our place is also popular, childrenu2019s love this fast food chain.

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