Calorie Bargains / August 16, 2012

Calorie Bargain: McDonald’s Southwest Chicken Salad

By Charles Platkin, PhD

Calorie Bargain: McDonald’s Southwest Chicken

The Why: It’s fast, good and low in calories. The salad, ordered with the grilled (not crispy) chicken has a nice mix of lettuce, a few black beans, pieces of corn and a few pieces of crispy tortilla. It makes for a satisfying lunch or dinner, even without any fries.

Note that this calorie count doesn’t include dressing or croutons. So skip the Butter Garlic Croutons, which are 60 calories, and ask for Newman’s Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette or Newman’s Own Low Fat Family Recipe Italian Dressing, which have about half the calories of the creamy dressing the salad usually comes with.

The Health Bonus: The salad has 7 grams of fiber. Wow.

What We Liked Best: A lean, healthy and filling salad, from the drive-through, for about 5 bucks.

What We Liked Least: It’s one of the most expensive items on the menu. Also, it’s very high in sodium.

The Price: Approximately $5.15 (with tax).

Offerings: Available with grilled or crispy chicken. You gotta go for the grilled, or it’ll cost you an extra 7 grams of fat and 80 calories.

Web Site:

Where to Buy: At a near you.

Ingredients: Salad mix, grilled chicken breast filet, Southwest vegetable blend, cilantro lime glaze, shredded cheddar/Jack cheese, limes, chili lime tortilla strips, liquid margarine.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

320 calories

9g fat

30g carbs

30g protein

7g fiber

970mg sodium

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