20 Unhealthiest Salads on the Planet
“Megan,” I answered gently, “You’ve just had dessert—for lunch. That salad has nine doughnuts’ worth of sugar!”
My poor friend. She’d come in for a slimming Caribbean Salad but left feeling like a beached whale, and no wonder: she’d just eaten nearly three times the recommended amount of sugar for an entire day. That’s because her order was filled with six kinds of added sugars, which food manufactures sneak into almost everything we eat, from bread to cold cuts to yogurt, peanut butter, pizza and even “health” foods like salads.
That’s why I wrote Zero Sugar Diet. Until now, there’s been no way to tell how much added sugar you’re eating—or how to avoid it without sacrifice. But with the simple steps in Zero Sugar Diet, you’ll be able to eat all your favorite foods and strip away unnecessary sugars—losing weight at a rate of up to one pound per day. All it takes is 14 days to retrain your tastebuds.
Start by avoiding the 20 salads on this list, and learn more about Zero Sugar Diet here to lose weight and look and feel better than ever!
Friendly’s Apple Harvest Salad
668 calories | 37 g fat (9 g saturated) | 2,277 mg sodium | 37 g carbs | 7 g fiber | 26 g sugar | 43 g protein
That’s more sugar than two and a half glazed Dunkin’ Donuts!
This single salad contains more sugar than should be consumed in an entire day. The culprits here are not the juicy apples, but the sugar-coated dried fruit and sugary glazed chicken. Eat one, and you’ll have a glazed look afterwards.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order a side Mixed Green Salad and bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup instead and save 21 grams of sugar and 140 calories.
Wendy’s BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad, Full Size
590 calories | 30 g fat (10 g saturated) | 1,390 mg sodium | 42 g carbs | 5 g fiber | 27 g sugar | 42 g protein
That’s more sugar than 30 jellybeans!
This salad is sugary thanks to not one, but two dressings used to make it taste so delicious—each made with corn syrup.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order a side Garden Side Salad and a six-piece chicken nuggets instead and save 23 grams of sugar and 110 calories. And make sure you’re following these 50 Tips for Eating Clean every day!
Perkins Honey Mustard Chicken Crunch Salad
980 calories | 63 g fat (17 g saturated) | 2,050 mg sodium | 63 g carbs | 5 g fiber | 28 g sugar | 44 g protein
That’s more sugar than a Twix bar!
Much of the sugar and empty calories come from the salad’s honey mustard dressing and breaded chicken tenderloins. Also: Where’s the fiber?
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order Perkins’s Classic Cobb Salad instead and save 24 grams of sugar and 460 calories.
Au Bon Pain Harvest Turkey Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
500 calories | 24 g fat (5 g saturated) | 1,150 mg sodium | 42 g carbs | 6 g fiber | 31 g sugar | 30 g protein
That’s more sugar than two and a half donuts from Dunkin’!
Say no thanks to this Thanksgiving inspired turkey—another “harvest” salad. The sugared dried cranberries and corn syrup dressing are to blame. Still, even without the dressing, the salad still contains a day’s worth of sweet stuff.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order a Chicken Caesar Asiago Salad without dressing instead and save 28 grams of sugar and 140 calories. And exercise caution every time you dine out with our exclusive report on The #1 Worst Menu Item at 40 Popular Restaurants!
California Pizza Kitchen Full Roasted Veggie Salad With Fat-Free Vinaigrette
830 calories | 52 g fat (5 g saturated) | 1,150 mg sodium | 87 g carbs | 21 g fiber | 36 g sugar | 15 g protein
That’s the sugar equivalent of three glazed donuts from Dunkin’!
There are few dishes that sound healthier than a roasted veggie salad, but this is basically veggies roasted in sugar, and then coated with sugar.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order the Mediterranean Side Salad and cup of Dakota Smashed Pea and Barley Soup instead and save 30 grams of sugar and 390 calories.
TGI Fridays Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
1,080 calories | 71 g fat (16 g saturated) | 1,650 mg sodium | 76 g carbs | 11 g fiber | 38 g sugar | 39 g protein
That’s more sugar than three donuts from Dunkin’!
This pecan “salad” is a pe-can’t. Not only is it high in calories and sugar, but it also has very little fiber, meaning all of that sugar goes straight into your bloodstream.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order a lunch portion of the Chicken Caesar Salad and a bowl of Turkey Kale soup instead and save 20 grams of sugar and 420 calories.
Buffalo Wild Wings Honey BBQ Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad
1,160 calories | 74 g fat (18 g saturated) | 4,260 mg sodium | 74 g carbs | 7 g fiber | 40 g sugar | 49 g protein
That’s the equivalent of four glazed Krispy Kreme donuts!
Salad may seem like a safe menu choice when you’re watching your weight, but unfortunately this BWW salad is dressed in a fat suit. It’s topped with bacon and honey BBQ chicken with a side of garlic toast, all adding up to the total 40 grams of sugar. That’s the same as 10 donuts from Krispy Kreme — speaking of donuts, check out this Eat This, Not That! Special Report: 14 “Health” Foods Worse Than a Donut.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Save yourself 35 grams of the sweet stuff, plus over 350 calories to boot, by ordering the Garden Grilled Chicken Salad.
Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad, Full Size
570 calories | 25 g fat (8 g saturated) | 1,070 mg sodium | 51 g carbs | 7 g fiber | 40 g sugar | 38 g protein
That’s more sugar than three glazed donuts from Dunkin’!
This salad has more than a day and a half worth of sugar thanks to—you guessed it—sweet cranberries, roasted pecans, and Marzetti Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Wendy’s does have low sugar options available. Order the Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad instead and save 34 grams of sugar.
Potbelly Chicken Salad, Potbelly Vinaigrette
686 calories | 42 g fat (8 g saturated) | 587 mg sodium | 54 g carbs | 7 g fiber | 41 g sugar | 25 g protein
That’s more sugar than seven Oreos!
The Potbelly Salad: How’s that for an oxymoron? The only ingredient raising red flags are the dried cranberries, but there are a lot of them packed into an otherwise fairly healthy bowl.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order The Wreck Salad instead and save 29 grams of sugar and 60 calories.
IHOP Chicken & Spinach Salad With Grilled Chicken and Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
1,130 calories | 71 g fat (24 g saturated) | 2,670 mg sodium | 53 g carbs | 4 g fiber | 43 g sugar | 69 g protein
That’s more sugar than three and half McDonald’s Baked Apple Pies!
This salad still has nearly two days worth of sweet stuff—not as much as pancakes, but close. And if you opt for crispy chicken instead of grilled chicken, you’ll get more calories, total fat, sodium, and carbs. Think that’s bad? Click here to find out if you’re eating the 50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet!
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order a Garden Omelette instead and save 37 grams of sugar and 290 calories.
Potbelly Uptown Salad, Balsamic Vinaigrette
684 calories | 48 g fat (12 g saturated) | 913 mg sodium | 56 g carbs | 7 g fiber | 44 g sugar | 12 g protein
That’s more sugar than 19 pieces of candy corn!
Two of this salad’s six main ingredients—dried cranberries and candied walnuts—are basically glorified forms of sugar. The result is a seemingly healthy (but sickeningly sweet) salad with more than day’s worth of sugar.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order the protein-packed Powerhouse Salad instead and save 29 grams of sugar and 93 calories. And clear your home cabinets of “health” foods that are anything but. These are 32 Health Foods to Stop Eating Immediately.
Red Robin Banzai Salad
560 calories | 17 g fat (4 g saturated) | 2,150 mg sodium | 68 g carbs | 5 g fiber | 44 g sugar | 35 g protein
That’s the sugar equivalent of four tablespoons of jelly!
At Red Robin, “Banzai” is code for “sugar.” Eliminating the sauce cuts 19 grams of sugar—but the rest of the sweet stuff comes from the grilled pineapple rings and Citrus Ale dressing. To blast fat faster, incorporate these Superfoods That Double Weight Loss into your daily diet, to lose weight effortlessly and deliciously—and live your healthiest and happiest life ever.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order the Spicy Sombrero Salad instead and save 31 grams of sugar.
Quiznos Apple Harvest Chicken Salad, Full, Acai Vinaigrette
680 calories | 38 g fat (6.5 g saturated) | 1,190 mg sodium | 62 g carbs | 7 g fiber | 47 g sugar | 25 g protein
That’s more sugar than a Twinkie!
Like the Friendly’s salad, this one relies heavily on sugared dried fruits, and the honey dijon chicken base makes matters worse. Top it with the recommended dressing—four ounces of acai vinaigrette—and you’ve added 18 grams more sugar. Totaled up, that’s like pouring a can of Coke into your meal.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Ask for grilled chicken, and add a simple oil and vinegar.
California Pizza Kitchen Full Chinese Chicken Salad With Fat-Free Vinaigrette
900 calories | 36 g fat (5 g saturated) | 2,880 mg sodium | 116 g carbs | 12 g fiber | 49 g sugar | 27 g protein
That’s more sugar than a can of Coke!
Salad might seem like a healthier option when dining at California Pizza Kitchen, but this particular salad contains two day’s worth of sugar, because it’s coated in it.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order a Half Italian Chopped Salad with no dressing and a cup of Sedona Tortilla soup instead and save 42 grams of sugar and 150 calories.
Applebees Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad
1,290 calories | 85 g fat (13 g saturated) | 2,300 mg sodium | 84 g carbs | 10 g fiber | 52 g sugar | 51 g protein
That’s more sugar than two and a half Twinkies!
The real culprit here is yet another dressing, an Oriental vinaigrette, which is basically flavored sugar. The grilled chicken is also slathered in a sweet sauce of its own, adding 10 grams of sugar to the meal.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order the Southwest Chicken Salad instead and save 44 grams of sugar and 220 calories.
California Pizza Kitchen Full Thai Crunch Salad With Fat-Free Vinaigrette
1,340 calories | 83 g fat (9 g saturated) | 1,990 mg sodium | 128 g carbs | 15 g fiber | 58 g sugar | 46 g protein
That’s more sugar than five Tootsie Pops!
California Pizza Kitchen’s salads dominate this list, and here’s why: what should be a simple Thai salad still contains more than two days worth of sugar and nearly 1,400 calories.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order a Full Classic Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast and fat-free vinaigrette dressing instead and save 40 grams of sugar and 500 calories.
Bob Evans Wildfire Fried Chicken Salad
1,320 calories | 71 g fat (17 g saturated) | 1,880 mg sodium | 134 g carbs | 11 g fiber | 65 g sugar | 43 g protein
That’s more sugar than thirteen Chips Ahoy! Candy Blast Chocolate Chip Cookies!
This Wildfire salad ravaged everything in its path—including your diet success.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order a Farmhouse Garden Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken and Low-fat Balsamic Vinaigrette instead and save 53 grams of sugar and 775 calories.
Applebee’s Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad
1,280 calories | 74 g fat (15 g saturated) | 2,020 mg sodium | 108 g carbs | 11 g fiber | 65 g sugar | 49 g protein
That’s more sugar than eight Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
There’s a Halloween’s worth of candy in this deceivingly unhealthy salad thanks to caramelized nuts, which coat everything. Oh, and to top it all off, this pile of sugar is then covered in Applebee’s Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. For fat-blasting tips guaranteed to help lose weight fast, click here to discover 14 Ways to Lose A Pound a Day!
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad instead and save 58 grams of sugar and 480 calories.
California Pizza Kitchen Full Waldorf Chicken Salad With 1.5 Oz Fat-Free Vinaigrette
1,340 calories | 87 g fat (18 g saturated) | 2,090 mg sodium | 104 g carbs | 10 g fiber | 66 g sugar | 44 g protein
That’s more sugar than two Twix bars!
California Pizza Kitchen strikes again with a salad that provides little nutrition but more than two days worth of sugar and nearly 1,400 calories. If you haven’t caught on by now, it pays to do some research about CPK’s salads before ordering one.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order the California Cobb with Ranch dressing instead and save 56 grams of sugar and 440 calories.
Chili’s Caribbean Salad With Grilled Chicken
720 calories | 28 g fat (4.5 g saturated) | 1,160 mg sodium | 86 g carbs | 8 g fiber | 70 g sugar | 36 g protein
This is the sugar equivalent of nine Dunkin Donuts Apple ’n’ Spice Donuts! Yes, nine!
A salad with grilled chicken—every skinny girl’s cliché lunch, right? But after eating Chili’s Caribbean Salad—and its nine donuts worth of sugar—you’ll feel like my pal Megan. Instead, fill yourself up with some of that lean protein and then discover the 14 day plan to flatten your belly, crush cravings and stay lean for life with Zero Sugar Diet. Test panelists up to a pound a day.
The Zero Sugar Diet Solution: Order the zesty, Southwest Chicken Soup with a side salad instead and save 56 grams of sugar and 550 calories.
Image #11 courtesy of Yelp user Ceeny M.