Don’t let these these wannabe health dishes derail your valiant weight loss efforts. (Photo: Shutterstock)
What’s worse than blowing your diet at a fast-food restaurant? Unknowingly doing so when you thought you were ordering the “healthy option.”
It’s likely happened to you.
Sneaky marketing campaigns—often using buzzwords that give naughty foods a “health halo”—make sussing out the actually healthy more confusing than ever. Don’t think you’ve ever fallen for one of these greasy grub tricks? You might be surprised. The five wannabe health foods below, researched exclusively by Eat This, Not That!, are just as bad as—and in some cases, worse than—the calorie- and fat-laden fries, nuggets and burgers you swore you’d never eat. Scroll down to stay on track towards a trimmer, healthier—and smarter—you.
Quiznos Small Honey Bourbon Chicken Grilled Flatbread
290 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 880 mg sodium, 45 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 17 g protein
Apple Harvest Chicken Wrap with Acai Dressing
950 calories, 44 g fat, 11 g sat fat, 670 mg sodium, 113 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 47 g sugar, 25 g protein
Studies show that people tend to perceive not-so-wholesome meals as healthy if they are labeled with certain key terms—and Quiznos has marketed this wrap with a bunch of them: “apple”, “acai” and “wrap,” to name but a few. Brace yourself for the truth: This dish actually has more calories than a Whopper smothered with bacon and cheese—and a day’s worth of sugar. Yikes! Order the Small Honey Bourbon Chicken Grilled Flatbread instead to save 660 calories and 38 grams of fat. It’s filled with chicken, greens, tomatoes, onions and two savory sauces you’re sure to love.
Related: 13 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
Chick-Fil-A Grilled Market Salad
200 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 570 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 23 g protein
Cobb Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing
740 calories, 54 g fat, 12 g sat fat, 1,890 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 40 g protein
This dish is a prime example of how fast-food chains turn beds of leafy greens into junk food. High-fat toppings like fried chicken and shredded cheese make this salad one of the most caloric entrées on the menu. By simply switching up your salad order and getting the chain’s fruit-, chicken- and nut-topped variety instead, you can keep 540 calories and 52 grams of heart-harming fat off your frame.
Related: 7 Best Foods for Rapid Weight Loss
Arby’s Roast Beef Classic
360 calories, 14 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 970 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 23 g protein
Roast Turkey & Swiss Sandwich
700 calories, 28 g fat, 7 g sat fat, 1,760 mg sodium, 77 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 39 g protein
We know what you’re thinking: “But I make turkey and cheese sandwiches all the time at home. How can this be a Not That!?! It’s healthy!” Well, yes, typically the high-protein combo is a solid go-to. Yet Arby’s is heavy-handed with the mayo and honey mustard, which is why the calorie and fat count is so high. To blast fat but feel full, order the Roast Beef Classic instead. Coming in at just 360 calories, it’s one of the best bangs for your nutritional buck at this fast-food chain—relatively low in calories and fat, it also delivers 23 grams of muscle-building protein.
Related: 6 Foods That Turn Into Belly Fat
Carl’s Jr Guacamole Turkey Burger
480 calories, 19 g fat, 6 g sat fat, 1,000 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 32 g protein
Veg It Meatless Guacamole Thickburger
670 calories, 46 g fat, 10 g sat fat, 0.5 g trans fat, 1,330 mg sodium, 56 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 14 g protein
Going meatless is a great way to cut back on calories and fat—generally. In this case, not so much. Carl’s not only managed to shove 46 grams of health-harming fat into their Meatless Guacamole Thickburger–which is what you’d find in 15 McNuggets–but also had the nerve to advertise this nutritional nightmare as a “better for you option.” Even worse: there’s no burger! Not even a veggie one! It’s just a bun filled with guacamole, Pepper Jack cheese and “fresh fixings.” Opt for the Guacamole Turkey Burger to save 190 calories, 330 milligrams of blood pressure-raising sodium and add an additional 18 grams of hunger-busting protein to your plate.
Related: 12 Healthy Foods Making You Fat
Wendy’s Asian Cashew Grilled Chicken Salad (Full Size)
380 calories, 13 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 960 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 36 g protein
Apple Pecan Grilled Chicken Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing (Full Size)
590 calories, 26 g fat, 9 g sat fat, 0.5 g trans fat, 1,440 mg sodium, 54 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 40 g sugar, 37 g protein
Believe it or not, you’d be better off ordering a Double Stack Burger (430 calories) than the sugar-laden, fat-packed bed of lettuce that is the Asian Pecan salad. The blue cheese crumbles, sugar-coated cranberries and super-sweet dressing cancel out any nutritional benefits the apples and greens slip into this there. See if they can hold the blue cheese crumbles to save 120 calories, or opt for the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad instead. It’s the only salad with a reasonable nutritional profile on the menu!
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