United Kingdom

Researchers reveal the least healthy high-street salads

If you're trying to make healthier choices, a salad for lunch might seem like a better option than a cheese sandwich, and definitely prefereable to a takeaway option. 

But research conducted by Supplement Place has revealed that some options on the high street are worse for fat, calories and sugar than eating McDonald's Big Mac.  

Researchers conducted the study by scoring the levels of fibre, protein, saturated fat, sugar content and salt in menu options from popular high street chains, before taking a final average score.  

They found that Zizzi’s Super Zucca Salad is the least healthy salad available because even though it's not the most calorific, its high sugar content pushed it up the scale. 

Meanwhile, Bill’s Chicken Caesar Salad packs in the most calories and has more calories, saturated fat and sugar than a Big Mac, while the Pizza Express’ Pollo Salad has the highest levels of saturated fat.

Research conducted by Supplement Place found Zizzi's Super Zucca Salad (pictured) is the least healthy salad on sale in High Street restaurants

The most unhealthy salads on the high street 

1. Zizzi's Super Zucca Salad  

 572 calories 

14g sugar 

2. Pizza Express Nicoise Salad (with dressing) 

558 calories 

6.1g saturated fat 

4.5g sugar 

3. Pizza Express Pollo Salad (with dressing): 

693 calories 

13.1g saturated fat 

5.1g sugar 

4. Bill's Chicken Caesar Salad  

934 calories 

7.3g saturated fat 

9.1 g sugar 

5. Pret a Manager Chef's Italian Chicken Salad: 

 612 calories 

7.3g saturated fat 

9.1 g sugar 

6. Pizza Express Grand Chicken Caesar Salad (with dressing): 

636 calories 

8g saturated fat 

4.4g sugar 

7. Slug & Lettuce Super Mixed Salad 

 285 calories 

3.7g saturated fat 

12g sugar 

8. KFC Original Recipe Ricebox

 490 calories 

2.2g saturated fat 

11.1g sugar 

9. KFC Original Fillet Salad Pot

370 calories 

2.5g saturated fat 

11.8g sugar 

10. Bella Italia Insalata Caesar

  432 calories 

4.4g saturated fat 

5.4g sugar 

Researchers listed Bill's Chicken Caesar Salad (pictured) as the fourth least healthy salad, despite boasting the most calories 

Boasting 490 calories, KFC Original Recipe Ricebox (pictured) 2.2g saturated fat and 11.1g sugar was also listed as unhealthy

Supplement place listed Pret a Manager Chef's Italian Chicken Salad (pictured) as the fifth least healthy salad because of its 612 calories, 7.3g saturated fat and 9.1 g sugar

Bella Italia Insalata Caesar (pictured) also made the top ten least healthy salads, with 432 calories, 4.4g saturated fat and 5.4g sugar

THE HEALTHIEST HIGH STREET SALAD OPTIONS  

Prezzo Puy Lentil, Beetroot & Butternut Squash Salad

97 calories 

0.7g saturated fat 

0.1 sugar 

McDonald's Grilled Chicken Salad

133 calories 

0.4g saturated fat 

4.3g sugar 

Prezzo Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad

151 calories 

1.6g saturated fat 

0.8g sugar 

McDonald's Grilled Chicken and Bacon Salad

183 calories 

1.7g saturated fat 

4.3g sugar 

Prezzo Caesar Salad with Chicken

187 calories 

2.7g saturated fat 

0.1g sugar 

ASK Italian Insalata di Poll e Pancetta

165 calories 

1.7g saturated fat 

1.8g sugar 

McDonald's Crispy Chicken Salad

1.4g saturated fat 

3.6g sugar 

Wetherspoons Soul Bowl

281 calories 

1.8g saturated fat 

10.4g sugar 

Bella Italia Insalata Giardiniera

2.9g saturated fat 

11g sugar 

Bella Italia Insalata Caesar with Pollo & Pancetta

561 calories 

6.6g saturated fat 

Source: Supplement Place

Zizzi’s Super Zucca Salad could take less than an hour to burn off because it has just 572 calories.

However, researchers argue its 14g of sugar makes it the least healthy salad available, with NHS guidelines recommending adults consume no more than 30g of free sugars a day in total.

They explained Bill’s Chicken Caesar Salad with 934 calories isn't much healthier, however the fat and salt content in Pizza Express’ Pollo Salad is worse. 

Supplement Place warned the calorie content in Bill's salad is nearly half the recommended 2,000 calories for women.  

They added that a dish shouldn't be considered more healthy just because it has fewer calories, but those watching their intake should consider dishes on offer at Prezzo or McDonald's.

A researcher said: 'Prezzo has the healthiest salad available on the high street, with its Puy Lentil, Beetroot and Butternut Squash Salad, which has just 97 calories and 0.1g of sugar. 

'This was followed by McDonald’s who came in second with their Grilled Chicken Salad, which has only 133 calories but quite a bit more sugar than Prezzo’s 4.3g.'    

They added that it's important to look for salads with low saturated fat because in the long run, it can contribute to a rise in cholesterol.  

According to the NHS, men should not eat more than 30g of saturated fat a day and women shouldn't eat more than 20g of saturated fat a day. 

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