The salad you should never order at Chick-fil-A

When you think of healthy food, fried chicken chain Chick-fil-A is probably not the restaurant that springs to mind. While all fast food is not known for being particularly healthy, some patrons might be looking for something a bit less indulgent when they're perusing the menu of their favorite chain. Unfortunately for consumers in a rush, salads can actually be some of the least healthy items on fast food restaurant menus.

You'd think that bun-free, veggie-packed salads would be healthier than their battered and fried counterparts, but that assumption would be wrong. Spoon University explains that this is because the salads are essentially just all the ingredients you normally find on a sandwich, but with lettuce instead of bread. While the lettuce is healthier than the bun or roll you would get with other menu items, once it is all smothered in dressing, you have pretty much negated any health benefits that came from eating the salad in the first place.

One of the absolute worst offenders of an unhealthy dish masquerading as nutritious is the Cobb Salad at Chick-fil-A. Their website describes the menu item as Chick-fil-A Nuggets sliced on a bed of mixed greens with roasted corn, shredded cheese, bacon, grape tomatoes, and a hard boiled egg. It also comes with a bag of charred tomatoes and crispy red bell peppers, and Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing.

This salad is so unhealthy you might as well get a sandwich

If you combine all the ingredients that come standard with the Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad this "healthy" menu item contains 740 calories, and 1,890 milligrams of sodium (via Eat This Not That). The daily recommended amount of sodium for an adult is 2,300 milligrams, making this salad just 410 milligrams short of the maximum amount you should consume. The Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing is also particularly bad for you. Made primarily of soybean oil, this creamy dressing alone contains 310 of the salad's 740 calories, which is about the same amount as is in the Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

If you really love the Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad, that's great! Just don't order it thinking you'll be getting something healthier than the standard menu items. If you are searching for something a bit on the healthier side, Eat This Not That suggests ordering the Chick-fil-A Grilled Market Salad with Light Italian Dressing instead, which contains a much more reasonable 225 calories — although it is still a bit high in sodium, with 1,120 milligrams.