Mashed's Exclusive Survey Uncovers Which Fast Food Restaurant Has The Worst Salads

When fast food places try to be "healthy," you can't help but think to yourself: "Are they serious?" Fast food places are known for being that place you go to scratch that itch for some cheap, greasy, and admittedly delicious food, so the idea of places like McDonald's and Burger King trying to market health foods seems almost cynical. Just where did fast food companies get the idea to start selling healthy products?

According to The Washington Post, Wendy's was actually the first fast-food company to introduce salads — or more accurately, the salad bar — into the fast food market back in 1979. McDonald's would later add salads to its menu in 1987 (via The Packer), and would later introduce the infamous "Salad Shakers" to the menu in 2000 (via QSR Magazine). Even Arby's, best known for supposedly "having the meats," jumped onto the salad bandwagon, introducing its "Market Fresh" salad in 2011 (via PR Newswire).

It seems that fast-food companies are aware that many people view them as unhealthy and are trying to promote that they sell more than just greasy burgers and sandwiches. After all, if a customer can choose between a burger and a salad, the company can at least say the option was available.

But among all of the fast food salads out there, which is the one that you'd probably be better off getting over your usual? Mashed polled 582 people to get the answer to this question — and got a surprising answer.

Subway's salad was billed the worst

Out of those 582 individuals, it seems that 31.27% (or 182 of those polled) agreed that Subway has the worst salads. For comparison, the rest of the survey found that 30.07% of people claimed Arby's had the worst salad, 21.65% said Wendy's was the worst, 8.76% said Chick-fil-A's salads weren't so hot, and 8.25% of those polled said Panera has the worst salads.

This seems to be a pretty surprising answer. You may recall that Subway recently launched its "Eat Fresh, Refresh" campaign (via Nation's Restaurant News) which promised fresher ingredients and a revamped menu. If half of a Subway's menu is produce, and with an emphasis on "eating fresh," what's up with Subway salads?

The Impulsive Buy's review of Subway's Club Salad in 2005 noted that it was indeed fresh and "made your way," but was hampered by a steep price, too much lettuce, a "weak dressing" and a surprisingly high sodium count. In a response to the question of Subway salads' healthiness, Quora users noted that a lot of it depended on what was in the salad, claiming that a salad with light dressing and meats would be healthier than one loaded with different types of toppings.

Subway also has something called "No Bready Bowls," which are similar to salads, but differ in the idea that they are the usual fillings of a Footlong in a bowl without any bread. It's effectively a salad made from your choice of Footlong.