With America facing an obesity epidemic, many fast-food restaurants have started offering healthier foods. To see just how well these restaurants are doing, September's issue of Consumer Reports magazine rated their typical chicken salads and chicken sandwiches, those that appeal to health-conscious people.
The results may stun you.
Kim Kleman, managing editor of Consumer Reports, shared details on The Early Show.
The magazine looked at 16 restaurants. It sent two expert taste testers to four stores each in eight states, and they looked for the best mix of nutrition and value and, of course, taste.
It should come as no surprise that the more calories and fat, the better the dish tasted.
Among the magazine's biggest surprises: What is a healthier choice, a Boston Market Caesar chicken salad or a Big Mac from McDonald's?
The Big Mac won, because the Boston Market Caesar chicken salad has 800 calories and 62 grams of fat, which is almost all the fat you should have in a full day. The fat mainly comes from the salad dressing (and the croutons don't help either).
On the other hand, the Big Mac has 600 calories and 33 grams of fat. "Not great, but better than the salad," notes Kleman.
Some chicken salads and sandwiches are healthier than others. For instance, the Subway chicken salad has 310 calories, versus 800 calories for the Boston Market salad. Among the chicken sandwiches, the Wendy's chicken sandwich had 360 calories, while the Panera Bread chicken sandwich carried 950 calories.
The ones rated best overall by Consumer Reports:
Consumer Reports also has some advice for people who want to go out and eat fast food, while also keeping their good health in mind: