When you're watching your weight, eating out can be tough. But you can always order a salad, right? Not if it's the Quesadilla Explosion Salad from Chili's. It seems healthy enough, with grilled chicken, tomatoes and corn relish, but this salad is more like two meals in one; a salad with chicken plus a quesadilla. Knowing the nutrition information for this salad might make you think twice before ordering it.
Exploding With Calories
The Quesadilla Explosion Salad is the highest-calorie salad on the Chili's menu, with 1,430 calories per serving. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, you've just blown almost three-quarters of your calorie intake on one salad. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, most people in the United States already eat too many calories, which is why there is an obesity epidemic. If you like this salad from Chili's and are watching your calories, consider sharing it with a friend or taking half home to eat later.
Loaded With Unhealthy Fat
You might find this hard to believe considering it's a salad, but 60 percent of the calories in the Quesadilla Explosion Salad come from fat. This salad is not only high in fat, but is also high in saturated fat. One serving of the salad contains 96 grams of total fat and 28 grams of saturated fat. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories, or no more than 22 grams a day on a 2,000-calorie diet. High intakes of saturated fat increase blood cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease.
Carbs, Fiber and Protein
The rest of the calories in the salad comes from its carb and protein content. One serving of the Quesadilla Explosion Salad from Chili's contains 88 grams of carbs and 63 grams of protein. Adults should get 45 to 65 percent of their calories from carbs and 10 to 35 percent of their calories from protein. If you follow a 2,000-calorie diet, that means you should consume 225 to 325 grams of carbs and 50 to 175 grams of protein a day. The salad meets 27 to 39 percent of your carb needs and 36 to 126 percent of your protein needs. While the Quesadilla Explosion Salad is high in fat, it is also a good source of fiber, with 10 grams per serving. Women need 25 grams of fiber a day, and men need 38 grams.
Too Much Sodium
Chili's Quesadilla Explosion Salad is also very high in sodium, containing 2,960 milligrams in one serving -- far more than your recommended daily intake. High intakes of sodium can increase blood pressure, which may also increase your risk of heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests you limit your daily intake of sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. If you already have high blood pressure, are over the age of 51 or are of African American descent, you should limit your sodium intake to less than 1,500 milligrams a day.