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Most Americans know that they should eat fruits and vegetables instead of consuming foods saturated with sugar and fat. On restaurant menus, salads are often healthiest since they contain less fat and fewer calories than other items.

But, this isn’t always the case.

RELATED: These 25 restaurant and grocery store salads have more calories than a Big Mac

The data experts at HealthGrove, a health research site powered by Graphiq, sought to find the salads with more fat than a milkshake. To make our list, a salad had to contain more than 19 grams of fat — the amount of fat found in a medium vanilla milkshake from McDonald’s. The salads were selected from some of the nation’s largest restaurant chains’ menus. The list is ordered according to fat content, with the worst offender taking the No. 1 spot. When ties occur, items are ranked by the highest calorie count.


Despite the healthy connotations of salads, restaurant-goers may be hurting, rather than helping, their waistlines with these menu items. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Americans should eat no more than 65 grams of total fat a day (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). Whereas a McDonald’s milkshake contains less than one-third of the daily recommended fat intake, the top 10 salads on our list all contain over 65 grams of fat in each serving.

RELATED: These 25 “healthy” juices and smoothies actually have more sugar than a Coke

For many salads on this list, chicken is a common fat-adding culprit. Crispy chicken, fried chicken and boneless chicken add extra fat and calories to each salad. Unhealthy salad dressings, like ranch, blue cheese and Caesar dressing, may be another factor. So, next time you think about cutting back on fat intake, you may be better off skipping the salad.

33. Arby’s: Chopped Side Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

  • Fat: 22 grams
  • Calories: 210
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram

The Chopped Side Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing contains 34 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

32. Starbucks: Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl

  • Fat: 22 grams
  • Calories: 430
  • Carbohydrates: 50 grams
  • Sugar: 8 grams

The Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl contains 34 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

31. Jack in the Box: Southwest Chicken Salad with Crispy Chicken Strips

  • Fat: 23 grams
  • Calories: 500
  • Carbohydrates: 52 grams
  • Sugar: 5 grams

The Southwest Chicken Salad with Crispy Chicken Strips contains 35 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

30. Arby’s: Chopped Farmhouse Salad

  • Fat: 24 grams
  • Calories: 430
  • Carbohydrates: 26 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams

The Chopped Farmhouse Salad contains 37 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

29. McDonald’s: Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad

  • Fat: 25 grams
  • Calories: 520
  • Carbohydrates: 46 grams
  • Sugar: N/A

The Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad contains 38 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

28. HomeTown Buffet: Seafood Salad

  • Fat: 26 grams
  • Calories: 310
  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams

The Seafood Salad contains 40 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

27. McDonald’s: Bacon Ranch Salad & Buttermilk Crispy Chicken

  • Fat: 28 grams
  • Calories: 490
  • Carbohydrates: 28 grams
  • Sugar: N/A

The Bacon Ranch Salad & Buttermilk Crispy Chicken contains 43 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

26. Jack in the Box: Chicken Club Salad with Crispy Chicken Strips

  • Fat: 28 grams
  • Calories: 510
  • Carbohydrates: 36 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams

The Chicken Club Salad with Crispy Chicken Strips contains 43 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

25. Wendy’s: BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

  • Fat: 30 grams
  • Calories: 590
  • Carbohydrates: 42 grams
  • Sugar: 27 grams

The BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad contains 46 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

24. Dairy Queen: Crispy Chicken BLT Salad

  • Fat: 31 grams
  • Calories: 520
  • Carbohydrates: 25 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams

The Crispy Chicken BLT Salad contains 48 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

23. Taco Bell: Fiesta Taco Salad – Steak

  • Fat: 34 grams
  • Calories: 730
  • Carbohydrates: 74 grams
  • Sugar: 7 grams

The Fiesta Taco Salad – Steak contains 52 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

22. Panera Bread: Greek Salad with Chicken

  • Fat: 38 grams
  • Calories: 530
  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams
  • Sugar: 7 grams

The Greek Salad with Chicken contains 58 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

21. Taco Bell: Fiesta Taco Salad – Beef

  • Fat: 39 grams
  • Calories: 770
  • Carbohydrates: 77 grams
  • Sugar: 8 grams

The Fiesta Taco Salad – Beef contains 60 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

20. Panera Bread: Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa

  • Fat: 40 grams
  • Calories: 510
  • Carbohydrates: 28 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams

The Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa contains 62 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

19. Burger King: Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad with Tendergrill and Dressing

  • Fat: 40 grams
  • Calories: 590
  • Carbohydrates: 18 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams

The Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad with Tendergrill and Dressing contains 62 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

18. Wendy’s: Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Fat: 43 grams
  • Calories: 720
  • Carbohydrates: 41 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams

The Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad contains 66 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

17. Steak ‘n Shake: Grilled Chicken Taco Salad

  • Fat: 44 grams
  • Calories: 590
  • Carbohydrates: 34 grams
  • Sugar: 7 grams

The Grilled Chicken Taco Salad contains 68 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

16. Denny’s: Prime Rib Cobb Salad

  • Fat: 46 grams
  • Calories: 630
  • Carbohydrates: 18 grams
  • Sugar: 4 grams

The Prime Rib Cobb Salad contains 71 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

15. Steak ‘n Shake: Beef Taco Salad

  • Fat: 48 grams
  • Calories: 580
  • Carbohydrates: 26 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams

The Beef Taco Salad contains 74 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

14. Denny’s: Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Fat: 49 grams
  • Calories: 660
  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams

The Avocado Chicken Caesar Salad contains 75 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

13. Red Robin: Crispy Chicken Tender Salad

  • Fat: 49 grams
  • Calories: 876
  • Carbohydrates: 53 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams

The Crispy Chicken Tender Salad contains 75 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

12. Burger King: Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad with Tendercrisp and Dressing

  • Fat: 50 grams
  • Calories: 720
  • Carbohydrates: 32 grams
  • Sugar: 7 grams

The Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad with Tendercrisp and Dressing contains 77 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

11. Red Robin: Insane Romaine

  • Fat: 55 grams
  • Calories: 790
  • Carbohydrates: 52 grams
  • Sugar: 22 grams

The Insane Romaine contains 85 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

10. T.G.I. Friday’s: Caesar Salad with Grilled Norwegian Salmon

  • Fat: 69 grams
  • Calories: 920
  • Carbohydrates: 35 grams
  • Sugar: N/A

The Caesar Salad with Grilled Norwegian Salmon contains 106 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

9. Friendly’s: Crispy Honey Barbecue Chicken Salad

  • Fat: 69 grams
  • Calories: 1,045
  • Carbohydrates: 82 grams
  • Sugar: 32 grams

The Crispy Honey Barbecue Chicken Salad contains 106 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

8. Friendly’s: Jack and Cheddar BLT Salad

  • Fat: 71 grams
  • Calories: 956
  • Carbohydrates: 23 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams

The Jack and Cheddar BLT Salad contains 109 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

7. T.G.I. Friday’s: Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad

  • Fat: 71 grams
  • Calories: 1,080
  • Carbohydrates: 76 grams
  • Sugar: N/A

The Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad contains 109 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

6. Buffalo Wild Wings: Prime Rib Salad

  • Fat: 72 grams
  • Calories: 900
  • Carbohydrates: 28 grams
  • Sugar: 9 grams

The Prime Rib Salad contains 111 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

5. Chili’s: Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad

  • Fat: 72 grams
  • Calories: 1,030
  • Carbohydrates: 47 grams
  • Sugar: 8 grams

The Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad contains 111 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

4. Chili’s: Quesadilla Explosion Salad

  • Fat: 96 grams
  • Calories: 1,440
  • Carbohydrates: 83 grams
  • Sugar: 17 grams

The Quesadilla Explosion Salad contains 148 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

3. Applebee’s: Crispy Chicken and Cornbread Salad

  • Fat: 96 grams
  • Calories: 1,440
  • Carbohydrates: 84 grams
  • Sugar: 18 grams

The Crispy Chicken and Cornbread Salad contains 148 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

2. Applebee’s: Oriental Chicken Salad

  • Fat: 99 grams
  • Calories: 1,420
  • Carbohydrates: 96 grams
  • Sugar: 42 grams

The Oriental Chicken Salad contains 152 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

1. Buffalo Wild Wings: Mediterranean Salad

  • Fat: 104 grams
  • Calories: 1,380
  • Carbohydrates: 62 grams
  • Sugar: 12 grams

The Mediterranean Salad contains 160 percent of the daily recommended serving of total fat.

Taylor Johnson, HealthGrove |