Monday, July 06, 2009

Supermarket salads - less healthy than Big Macs?

I've had many patients tell me reassuringly,

"don't worry about my lunches out, I usually go to the supermarket and just buy a salad"
Um, about that salad....

You see a newspaper in England decided to put some of those supermarket salads to the test. They bought a bunch and had them sent to nutritional labs for analysis.

The results (click the photo up top to see them enlarged)?

More calories and more sodium than Big Macs with comparable amounts of saturated fat (though greater amounts of healthy unsaturated fats).

Bottom line?

As always, calories and nutrition are not intuitive. The only way to truly know what you're having is to make it yourself.

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  1. Last week I joined some of my colleagues for a trip across the street to McDonalds and had Mediterranian Salad with Grilled Chicken: tasted super fresh and only 390 KCal - looks like the McDonald's salads also beat the Supermarket?

  2. That M&S pasta salad with basil and chicken is almost twice the weight, twice the protein, and half the saturated fat of the Big Mac. Why not buy that and split it between two people for a healthier lunch? Wonder how the prices compare . . .

  3. Two things:

    1) There's good fat and bad fat and that chart does not differentiate this.

    2.) Size and portion size. Why not throw in a Whole Chicken, too? These items are not equal portion size, and aren't all of them too big?

    1. I think the point he was trying to make here wasn't that McDonalds is healthy or the right choice, but that just because it's a salad doesn't make it a great choice either.