The Olive Garden is an Italian style family restaurant that serves a variety of dishes. The restaurant serves two types of salads; the grilled chicken Caesar salad and the garden-fresh salad. The grilled chicken Caesar salad contains romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons. The garden-fresh salad contains lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives and croutons.
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Olive Garden serves two types of salads; the garden-fresh salad and the grilled chicken Caesar salad. One serving of the garden-fresh salad contains 120 calories without the dressing and 350 calories with the dressing. The grilled chicken Caesar salad contains approximately 850 calories, 42.5 percent of a the caloric needs for a 2,000 calorie diet.
The garden-fresh salad contains 3.5g of fat and .5g of saturated fat without dressing. With dressing, the salad contains 26g of fat and 4.5g of saturated fat. Most of the fat is contained in the dressing, and not in the other ingredients of this salad. The grilled chicken Caesar salad contains 64 g of fat, which is nearly the entire fat allowance per day. This salad also contains 13g of saturated fat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that saturated fats make up fewer than 10 percent of calories daily.
Olive Garden's garden-fresh salad contains 550mg of sodium without dressing and 1,930mg of sodium with the dressing. The grilled chicken Caesar salad contains 1,880mg of sodium. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that Americans consume less than 2,300mg of sodium per day, or approximately 1 tsp of salt. Excessive dietary sodium intake may lead to hypertension and other medical problems. Both the garden-fresh salad with dressing and the grilled chicken Caesar salad make up nearly the entire day's dietary sodium allowance.
Dietary fiber is important for improving bowel function, maintaining blood sugars and increasing satiety. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that you should consume approximately 30g of fiber daily. The garden-fresh salad both with and without dressing contains 3g of fiber. The grilled chicken Caesar salad contains 4g of fiber.
How to Fit Into Your Diet
When consuming the garden-fresh salad as an appetizer or paired with another food item, it is best to consume the salad without dressing. Doing so will reduce the calories, sodium and fat of the entire meal. If you choose the grilled chicken Caesar salad, eliminating the dressing entirely or asking for the dressing on the side or and adding it as you need will likely reduce the calories and fat. You can also opt to split or share the salad to reduce your calorie, sodium and fat intake for the meal.