John’s “common man” approach, which strikes a chord with many overweight Americans, was honed during his 10-year career in the weight loss industry. As Mr. Bad Food, he warns you of fast food, restaurant and supermarket landmines.

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Mr. Bad Food

by John McGran, Food columnist

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Entrée Salads, Hillshire Farm

Like millions of other fat Americans, I am starting a new diet. And much like all my previous attempts at weight loss, I will trim my intake of sweets and boost my intake of salads.

In previous Bad Food reviews, Mr. Bad Food has touched on the dietary dangers linked to many fast food salads. Today, I take a bite out of a popular line of store salads from Hillshire Farms.

You know Hillshire Farms and their Entrée Salads. It’s the product hyped during the funny “GO MEAT!” ads featuring cheerleader-like office workers. Sadly, after reviewing the nutrition info, there isn’t a lot to cheer about.

According to the HillshireFarm.com website, the “new Entrée Salads include all the great-tasting ingredients you need to make a restaurant-style salad. We give you the meat, cheese, dressing, and toppings. All you have to do is add your favorite lettuce.”

Salads that include everything but the lettuce... gee thanks! It’s just what Mr. Bad Food wished for -- or so I thought. I have the option of Chicken Caesar, Chicken & Bacon Club, Turkey & Cranberries with Ham Julienne, and Turkey & Ham Chef.

Turns out that some of these varieties toss a half day’s saturated fat and a full day’s sodium your way!

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “The oven roasted chicken breast, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and creamy Caesar dressing in the Chicken Caesar sound reasonable. But they supply 480 calories and 10 grams of sat fat (plus 0.5 gram of trans fat) and 1,630 milligrams of sodium. The Turkey & Ham Chef is almost as bad. They’re salads with the Nutrition Facts of a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin with Egg (plus 700 mg more sodium).”

Could these salads be less than healthy because the makers are in the processed meat business? That could explain why they’ve butchered such a good idea.

Chew on This: A filling salad of greens and things can be a great diet aid. Just go slow on the cheese… the croutons… the nuts… and the fatty dressings.

@ 11:45am ET on June 5, 2008
Thanks for uncovering this info!!!

@ 9:27am ET on June 6, 2008
Wowwwww!! I think I'll stick to making my own salads!! That way I can forget about the meat, cheese, croutons...etc..

Thanks for the heads up!!!

@ 7:05pm ET on June 6, 2008
And we wonder why America is so fat... sigh...

Thanks for the info on this. I just can't believe they market it as a salad and it doesn't even have any veggies. What's next omeletes hold the eggs? OY!

@ 6:45pm ET on September 10, 2008
@ghgoddess.. you are that.. a goddess.

Salads.. hmm.. a three-bean salad has no greens, but it's multitudinously better for you than the hillshire farms ..er..offering.

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