Special Report

48 Salads That Are Worse Than a Slice of Cheese Pizza

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Waiter serving a large buffet table full of delicious food. Unrecognizable Caucasian male, professional in white apron and uniform. Remember when some iceberg lettuce — maybe with some shredded carrot and a slice of cucumber — and dressing qualified as a salad? Though American cuisine has come a long way since, plenty of questionable and unhealthy food combinations masquerade as salad these days.

If you’re trying to watch your calorie or sodium intake, don’t assume that a fast food salad is automatically a healthy choice. Many such salads are packed with extra calories in the form of crispy noodles, fried chicken, cheese, and sugary dressings. Here 17 other examples of healthy foods that are actually ruining your diet.

24/7 Tempo compiled a list of 48 salads you can buy that have more calories than an average slice of cheese pizza. While a single serving slice of pizza has 452 calories, all of the salads on the list have over 500 calories, and some have double and even triple that amount. Many contain more sodium than cheese pizza as well. In fact, some of these pre-made salads dish out more than the American Heart Association’s recommended daily limit of sodium of 2,300 mg.

When it comes to high sodium intake, which can increase blood pressure and risk of stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease, keep in mind that over 70% of the sodium that Americans consume comes in the form of packaged or prepared foods, and that includes restaurant salads.

Making your own salad with a simple oil and vinegar dressing can help you keep an eye on both your calorie and sodium intake. Salad portions at restaurants are often enough to feed two or three people, so if you must order one, remember to monitor your portion size. You can also order a fast food item that has few calories — believe it or not, they do exist.

Click here to see the 48 salads that are worse than a slice of cheese pizza.

Methodology

To compile the 50 salads that are worse than a slice of cheese pizza, 24/7 Tempo reviewed nutrition information for hundreds of salads offered by dozens of restaurant chains. Only salads with more calories than a slice of cheese pizza were considered.

Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad
> Retailer: McDonalds
> Calories: 520
> Sodium: 960 mg

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Million Dollar Cobb Salad with Grilled Salmon and Ranch Dressing
> Retailer: TGI Friday’s
> Calories: 1,110
> Sodium: 2,560 mg

Sheila’s Chicken Avocado Salad
> Retailer: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,840
> Sodium: 2,130 mg

Parmesan Caesar Chicken Salad
> Retailer: Wendy’s
> Calories: 560
> Sodium: 1,250 mg

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Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad with Sweet Italian Dressing
> Retailer: Bob Evans
> Calories: 870
> Sodium: 2,230 mg

Crispy Chicken Tender Salad with Honey Dijon
> Retailer: Applebees
> Calories: 1,370
> Sodium: 2,480 mg

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Wildfire Fried Chicken Salad with Colonial Dressing and Specialty Bread
> Retailer: Bob Evans
> Calories: 1,320
> Sodium: 1,880 mg

Apple Harvest Chicken Salad with Acai Vinaigrette
> Retailer: Quiznos
> Calories: 680
> Sodium: 1,190 mg

Honey BBQ Chicken Salad with Honey BBQ Ranch Dressing
> Retailer: Buffalo WIld Wings
> Calories: 980
> Sodium: 3,320 mg

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Caribbean Salad with Grilled Chicken
> Retailer: Chili’s
> Calories: 700
> Sodium: 1,150 mg

BBQ Chicken Salad with BBQ Ranch Dressing
> Retailer: TGI Friday’s
> Calories: 990
> Sodium: 2,540 mg

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Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad
> Retailer: Applebees
> Calories: 1,480
> Sodium: 2,300 mg

Roasted Veggie

Roasted Veggie Salad with Fat-Free Vinaigrette
> Retailer: California Pizza Kitchen
> Calories: 830
> Sodium: 1,150 mg

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Santa Fe Salad
> Retailer: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,680
> Sodium: 2,498 mg

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad
> Retailer: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,610
> Sodium: 2,410 mg

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Southwest Chili Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken
> Retailer: Panera Bread
> Calories: 650
> Sodium: 810 mg

Fried Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad
> Retailer: Friendly’s
> Calories: 805
> Sodium: 1,926 mg

Chinese Chicken Salad
> Retailer: TGI Friday’s
> Calories: 1180
> Sodium: 2,960 mg

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Chicken Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
> Retailer: Bob Evans
> Calories: 1,000
> Sodium: 2,390 mg

Grilled Salmon Superfood Salad
> Retailer: Bonefish Grill
> Calories: 1,180
> Sodium: 2,980 mg

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Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
> Retailer: Wendy’s
> Calories: 570
> Sodium: 1,150 mg

Chicken Salad Salad with Potbelly Vinaigrette
> Retailer: Potbelly
> Calories: 700
> Sodium: 610 mg

Avo-Cobb-O Salad with Ranch Dressing
> Retailer: Red Robin
> Calories: 780
> Sodium: 1,710 mg

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Club Salad with Crispy Chicken and Ranch Dressing
> Retailer: Burger King
> Calories: 800
> Sodium: 1,620 mg

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt Salad
> Retailer: Subway
> Calories: 460
> Sodium: 1,000 mg

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Waldorf Chicken Salad

Full Waldorf Chicken Salad with Fat-Free Vinaigrette
> Retailer: California Pizza Kitchen
> Calories: 1,340
> Sodium: 2,090 mg

Grilled Steak Salad, Full
> Retailer: California Pizza Kitchen
> Calories: 1,270
> Sodium: 2,060 mg

Cobb Salad with Chick-n-Strips 
> Retailer: Chick-Fil-A
> Calories: 620
> Sodium: 1,380 mg

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Quesadilla Explosion Salad
> Retailer: Chili’s
> Calories: 1,400
> Sodium: 2,370 mg

Santa Fe Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing and Tortillas
> Retailer: Buffalo WIld Wings
> Calories: 1,020
> Sodium: 2,340 mg

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Chinese Chicken Salad
> Retailer: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,740
> Sodium: 2,840 mg

Uptown Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Half
> Retailer: Potbelly
> Calories: 740
> Sodium: 1,050 mg

Mighty Caesar with Caesar Dressing
> Retailer: Red Robin
> Calories: 1,020
> Sodium: 1,830 mg

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Honey Mustard Chicken Crunch Salad
> Retailer: Perkins
> Calories: 980
> Sodium: 2,050 mg

Fiesta Taco Salad with Beef
> Retailer: Taco Bell
> Calories: 760
> Sodium: 1,330 mg

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California Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese and Beets
> Retailer: California Pizza Kitchen
> Calories: 1,070
> Sodium: 1,750 mg

Apple Harvest Salad
> Retailer: Friendly’s
> Calories: 668
> Sodium: 2,277 mg

Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad
> Retailer: Chili’s
> Calories: 970
> Sodium: 3,350 mg

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Cobb Salad
> Retailer: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,570
> Sodium: 2,424 mg

Crispy Chicken Club Salad with Ranch Dressing and Croutons
> Retailer: Jack in the Box
> Calories: 820
> Sodium: 1,870 mg

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Buffalo Chicken Salad with Buffalo Bleu Cheese Dressing
> Retailer: Buffalo WIld Wings
> Calories: 1,010
> Sodium: 3,060 mg

Thai Crunch with Avocado

Thai Crunch Salad with Fat-Free Vinaigrette
> Retailer: California Pizza Kitchen
> Calories: 1,400
> Sodium: 1,790 mg

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Southwest Salad with Salsa Ranch Dressing
> Retailer: Red Robin
> Calories: 1,100
> Sodium: 2,140 mg

Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado and Ranch Dressing
> Retailer: Au Bon Pain
> Calories: 640
> Sodium: 1,260 mg

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The Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad, Full
> Retailer: California Pizza Kitchen
> Calories: 1,090
> Sodium: 1,800 mg

Beef Taco Salad
> Retailer: Hardee’s
> Calories: 920
> Sodium: 1,920 mg

Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad
> Retailer: Wendy’s
> Calories: 600
> Sodium: 1,240 mg

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Caesar Salad with Chicken
> Retailer: Cheesecake Factory
> Calories: 1,520
> Sodium: 1,540 mg

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