Virtual Health Coach Finds Chain Restaurant Salads Can Top Burgers in Calories

Jennifer Major is a registered dietitian and the clinical lead for the virtual health coach Noom Coach. She received her Master of Science and Nutrition Sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
If you choose salads because they're healthy, check those calories. The virtual health coach Noom Coach reports that toppings like fried chicken and fatty dressings can push calorie counts of some popular salads past those of signature burgers.
Noom recently conducted an analysis of every fast-food and restaurant chain in the United States, looking to see which salads had the most calories. The calorie data were compiled from Noom’s proprietary database, which contains more than 58,000 menu items from 900 restaurant chains.
More than 65 million consumers currently log their meals, snacks, drinks, exercise and calorie intake on Noom’s digital platform. As part of this analysis, Noom’s data scientists cross-referenced their food database with the most popular salads logged by Noom users.
Noom’s researchers discovered roughly a quarter of the most popular salads logged on Noom contain more calories than the average fast-food hamburger.
In many cases, salads served at chains touted as healthy options, like Chopt and Panera Bread, contained more calories than similar salads served at fast-food chains, like Burger King, Wendy’s and McDonald’s.
Here’s a closer look at the top 10 most caloric salads logged in Noom Coach.
Salads vs. Burgers Comparison
Noom’s research team also compared the calorie count of the most popular salads logged on Noom against fast-food signature burgers. According to the research, the most popular salad with the most calories is the Taco Bell Fiesta Taco Salad with Beef, which contains 760 calories. That’s more calories than a Big Mac and an ice-cream cone from McDonald’s.
The Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad was among the top five salads that were logged on Noom. It contains 453 calories, which is more calories than the Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe, Jr. Hamburger, Jr. Cheeseburger and Double Stack.

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