Salads Are the Enemy

Have you ever noticed how many times people begin weight loss attempts by eating salads? How successful are they?

If you ever look over the calorie counts of the salads in most restaurants you might be astonished at how many calories they contain.  The Apple-Walnut-Chicken salad at Appleebee’s is 1160 calories. The Chicken Club salad from Arby’s is 810 calories. The Caesar salad with chicken at Chili’s is 1010 calories.  Compare that with a quarter pound burger from McDonald’s that is 410 calories and you can see how many people get fooled into ordering a tasty salad that contains a lot of calories, and a lot of fat.

The nutritional value of lettuce is low– in fact, almost nothing. The bulk and fiber value of lettuce is also low.

What is the problem? The dressings in salads are the problem- many salad dressings containing over 100 calories per tablespoon- and few people ever use a single tablespoon of dressing in their salad. Even the low fat dressings contain a lot of calories.

We see this with our weight loss surgery patients– they eat a lot of salads, and once they give up their salads and instead enjoy more cooked vegetables- they begin to lose weight.

So if you are serious about weight loss- increase your vegetables- give up the salads.  Salads may be the enemy

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit

Share this article on social media!

Latest Comments

  1. Seth Simonds says:

    You forgot about the bread sticks and buttered rolls. Nobody ever eats a salad by itself.

    Like having a cup of coffee… the problem is the cream and the donut you have with it, yes?

    When I eat salads, it’s because I enjoy them. If I want something more substantial I skip the lettuce and go with spinach or baby kale. Delicious.

Leave a Reply