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Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax

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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 05/27/2011

Is that right? Arby’s Grilled Chicken & Pecan Salad sandwich is ‘good mood food’?

If consuming 840 calories, 6 grams of saturated fat, 1,220 milligrams of sodium and 20 grams of sugar at lunchtime puts you in a good mood, then by all means, try Arby’s Grilled Chicken & Pecan Salad Sandwich.

Otherwise, you might want to stick with the fried Chicken Fillet Sandwich.

Arby’s new Market Fresh sandwiches do have the worthy distinction of being served on either honey wheat bread or a whole-grain flatbread wrap. That’s won them the Whole Grain Council’s stamp, which is something all of us seeking to add more whole grains to our diets should look for on our food packages.

The sandwiches contain other good-for-you ingredients: lean chicken, grapes, lettuce, apples, celery and pecans. They give the sandwich a nice little dose of vitamins C (8 percent of the Daily Value) and A (20 percent of the DV) and minerals (30 percent of the calcium DV, 25 percent of the iron DV) and 6 grams of fiber. It’s all bound together with mayonnaise. And, alas, it all adds up to more calories than you probably need.

For comparison’s sake, an Arby’s fried Chicken Fillet Sandwich has 530 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, 1,310 mg of sodium, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of sugar. As for vitamins and minerals, the sandwich serves up 2 percent of the DVs for vitamins A and C, 10 percent of the calcium DV and 15 percent of the iron DV.

I’m not saying that either one is a great thing to eat for lunch or a terrible thing to eat for lunch. But if you’re choosing the chicken salad sandwich over the fried fillet because you think it must be way better for you, then I’d encourage you to think again — and choose the sandwich that’s going to satisfy you more. Then enjoy every mouthful and move on. That should put you in a very good mood indeed.

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 05/27/2011

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