People like to believe that they eat healthily – in a 2011 survey, 90 percent of Americans said that they have a healthy diet. In the same survey, 78 percent of people claimed to eat at least a serving of lettuce or salad greens a week.
However, salads aren’t always a healthy option. For example, the Caesar salad sold at The Cheesecake Factory has 1,280 calories,* and the restaurant does not disclose how many grams of fat its salads have.
The Parmesan cheese, croutons and “special Caesar dressing” in the Cheesecake Factory Caesar salad make it an unhealthy option for hungry patrons. However, a salad with healthier ingredients – such as grape tomatoes, avocado and dark greens – can have high nutritional value.
The data experts at HealthGrove, a health research site powered by Graphiq, wanted to see just how unhealthy a salad can get. Using data from each restaurant’s nutrition facts, they found 40 cheeseburgers that have fewer calories than a Cheesecake Factory Caesar salad.
The burgers on our list come from 20 restaurant chains serving food across the nation, including fast food empires like McDonald’s and casual dining restaurants like Applebee’s.
Cheeseburgers are ranked in descending order, with the burger that has the fewest calories taking the top spot. In cases where two burgers have the same amount of calories, the one with fewer grams of fat is ranked lower.
Before reading, be warned: this list may make you think twice about ordering a Caesar salad the next time you go out.
*Note: The Caesar salad cited for the ranking is the full-sized option, and does not include chicken.