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Hi, HG!

What's your take on the new Asian Chicken Salad at McDonald's. How does it taste? Does it have lots of calories? Basically, should I eat it or is it bad for me?

Dear Stumped,

McDonald's Asian Chicken Salad was test marketed in different parts of the country for a while, but is finally nationally available. And, as much as I have slammed McDonald's in the past, I have to say this new salad ROCKS! Consisting of greens, red bell peppers, mandarin oranges, edamame, snow peas, almonds, and carrot shavings, topped with grilled chicken (don't get the crispy kind!), this salad is AWESOME! If you eat it all, including the Lowfat Sesame Ginger Dressing it comes with, it'll contain 380 calories and 12.5g of fat. But getting those numbers lower is super-easy. You can use just half the 90 calorie, 2.5g of fat packet of dressing (or none at all -- the orange glaze on the salad is almost like dressing!), or ditch the almonds and save 60 calories and 6g of fat. However you look at it, this salad is a great choice, both nutritionally and tastewise. I looooove it. I think it may even be my favorite fast food salad, knocking BK's Caesar with Grilled Chicken out of the top spot. I say go for it...and let me know how you like it.

Dear Hungry Girl,

I always see banana chips in the store and am tempted to get them. Are they healthy items to snack on or are they just wasted calories?

Dear Challenged,

I'm not a fan of banana chips. Why? Because they're two-faced losers. They run around (ok, maybe they just sit in bags) masquerading as healthy, when they're anything but. In fact, there are MORE calories in an ounce of these things than there are in a similar size serving of most regular potato chips. And they're loaded with fat, too. A tiny one ounce serving of 'em packs in 150 calories and 9g of fat. Yeouch! Sure they have lots of potassium and fiber, but I don't think the health benefits make up for how much fat and calories you'll end up consuming if you get involved with these crunchy critters. If you look hard enough you can find dried banana chips that aren't deep fried like most of 'em, but they're not so easy to locate (some say Trader Joe's carries them) and they're still pretty high in calories. I say you're WAY better off eating an actual banana. Leave the banana chips for the chubby chimps who don't care if their overalls are tight.

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