How many calories … in a McDonald’s Bacon Ranch Salad?

[“How Many Calories” is a regular feature that reveals the surprising calorie content in various foods. Thought-provoking, indeed. We’re always on the lookout for surprising calorie counts, so let us know what you’re finding and we may blog about it!]

After posting on the “salad shakeup” that revealed a surprising amount of unhealthy information on standard salads from many fast-food chains, I became interested in seeing just how many calories were in those supposedly “healthy” salads, such as the Bacon Ranch Salad currently offered by McDonald’s restaurants.

I confess, I’ve eaten these exact products before when time was of the essence and what I could find nearby was only a McDonald’s restaurant (they’re everywhere, aren’t they?). So, with that said, how about a proper (or not so much), fully-equipped McDonald’s Bacon Ranch Salad? We’ll assume the salad comes with Crispy Chicken and Ranch Dressing. You can get yours with different types of chicken and different dressings as well, which can radically change the calorie count of this salad.

So, is it:

(a) 250 calories, 12g of fat
(b) 320 calories, 16g of fat
(c) 190 calories, 9g of fat
(d) 400 calories, 19g of fat
Salad with Crispy Chicken — 340 cal, 16g fat
Ranch dressing, 2 fl. oz. packet — 170 calories, 15g fat

So, that salad, when equipped as stated above, will run your body in the area of 510 calories and 31 grams of fat. Ouch! Might as well eat a Quarter Pounder with cheese, which will give you 510 calories and 25 grams of fat.

In most cases, many salads could be made just fine and healthy if we didn’t “accessorize” them so much. Condiments such as cheese, fattening salads dressing, bacon and breaded (fried) chicken can easily turn a normal, healthy salad into a frightening, calorie-laden meal that’s way overboard on the unhealthy scale.

Author by Brian White