Times have shifted in the world of fast food, in an attempt to meet consumer demands for healthier products many fast food chains such as Burger King and McDonald’s now offer salads as a healthier option to their standard Hamburgers and signature meals. The question is, are these options any lower in calories and are they healthier?

How Many Calories in a Salad at McDonald’s

The official McDonald’s nutrition fact sheet lists 11 items under the salad classification. Excluding the side salad, the lowest calorie option comes in a 90 calories, a 213g serving of the Premium Caesar Salad without chicken. This is a stark contrast to the highest calorie option which has five times the number of calories in it, represented by Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken.

From a calorie perceptive, one can see that the option chosen makes a large difference. On the one hand, the lowest calorie option allows the eater to dine on less than 100 calories, a lot less than many other options on the menu. However, a significant number of the salads are relatively high in calories with to highest being equivalent to 1.8 Hamburgers and only 100 less than a Big Mac.

How Many Calories in a Salad at Burger King

Salads at Burger King generally showed a much lower calorie content than those at McDonald’s, although the range is much more limited with only two options available. Here the Garden salad is available with a calorie count of just 33, almost a third of that of the best option at McDonald’s. The other option is the Flame-Grilled Chicken Salad which comes in at 128 calories. As such, both of the salads offered at Burger King offer a significant reduction in calories when compared to the calories in a Hamburger or signature menu item.

As such, if eating in a fast food restaurant and still trying to keep a low calorie count, opting for a salad can in some cases reduce the calorie intake of a meal. However, in some cases certain lines have more calories in them then the alternatives they were designed to replace, so don’t assume that because an item is listed as a salad that it is low calorie or healthy automatically. In addition, the examples given considered only the basic product, remember if keeping a record of your calorie intake then it is important to take account of all sources of calories including any extra sides and drinks consumed.