Salad Smarts: How to Avoid Salads that Sabotage Your Diet

Healthy Fresh Salad

Get the best Diet Tips at Diet Nutrition Advisor

How are your salad smarts? In spite of public opinion, numerous salads are not waistline-friendly and can pile on even more calories than a quick meals hamburger and fries.

Here’s ways to ensure your salad satisfies without becoming a diet disaster.

Eating salad can be a great method to boost essential nutrients in your diet. One study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, discovered that simply one salad serving each day boosted blood levels of folic acid, vitamins C and E, lycopene and carotenoids in the bloodstream and another study found that eating a big salad as your starter can decrease the total calories you eat because meal by 12 percent!

But salads are not always the best choice when watching your weight. You can quickly construct your own salad from a salad bar that tops 1,000 calories and lots of dining establishment salads are drowning in dressing, sending calorie counts sky high. Think about: An Applebee’s Grilled Shrimp ‘N Green spinach Salad has 960 calories and 65g fat and California Pizza Kitchen area’s California Cobb with Ranch Dressing holds 940 calories and 72g fat.

Toppings that make salads rich in calories and unhealthy saturated fat consist of full-fat dressing, cheese, croutons, and mayo-rich choices like tuna or egg salad. The best choices are obvious: salad eco-friendlies, any raw or cooked veggies, beans, lean proteins like chicken or turkey and a light (not fat complimentary) dressing.

Let us compare 2 salads developed from the same salad bar. Each contains the same part of salad eco-friendlies, 6 different toppings and dressing.

Calorie-Rich Salad

2 cups salad greens, 16 cals, 0g fat

Croutons, 1/4 cup, 50 cals, 2g fatapplebees shrimp n spinach salad

Black olives, 5 pieces, 25 cals, 2.4 g fat

Cheddar Cheese, 1/4 cup shredded, 114 cals, 9.4 g fat

Sunflower seeds, 2 Tablespoon, 100 cals, 9g fat

Bacon bits, 2 Tbsp, 50 cals, 3g fat

Sliced almonds, 2 Tablespoon, 100 cals, 9g fat

Ranch dressing, 1/4 cup, 218 cals, 23g fat

Totals: 673 Calories, 58 grams fat

Salad BarBuild a Skinnier Salad

2 cups salad environment-friendlies, 16 cals, 0g fat

Tomatoes, 5 cherry, 15 cals, 2g fat

Cucumber, 1/4 cup sliced, 5 cals, 0g fat

Yellow bell pepper, 5 rings, 15 cals, 0g fat

Red kidney beans, 2 Tablespoon, 24 cals, 0g fat

Carrots, 1/4 cup shredded, 11 cals, 0g fat

Mushrooms, 1/4 cup sliced, 4 cals, 0g fat

Ranch dressing, reduced-fat, 2 Tbsp, 59 cals, 3.7 g fat

150 calories, 6 grams fat

Clearly, the garnishes make a heavy difference. Salad # 1 heaps up with over 4 times as numerous calories and virtually ten times as much fat as Salad # 2!

Use this salad garnishes overview of select leaner choices to build a better salad.

Salad Toppings Guide

Calories

Fat (grams)

Croutons, ¼ cup

50

2

Chinese noodles, 2 Tbsp

30

2

Bacon bits, 2 Tbsp

50

3

Sliced almonds, 2 Tbsp

100

9

Pumpkin seeds, 2 Tbsp

148

12

Sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp

100

9

Raisins or dried out cranberries, 2 Tbsp

70

0

Black olives, 5 pieces

25

2.4

Sliced mushrooms, ¼ cup

4

0

Red onion, 5 slices

29

0

Tomato, 5 cherry

15

2

Carrots, ¼ cup shredded

11

0

Bell pepper, 5 rings

15

0

Cucumber, ¼ cup sliced

5

0

Blue cheese, 2 Tablespoon crumbled

60

4.8

Feta, 2 Tablespoon crumbled

50

4

Cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup shredded

114

9.4

Red kidney beans, 2 Tbsp

24

0

Chickpeas, 2 Tbsp

36

.3

Tofu, ¼ cup diced

91

5.5

Chicken, ¼ cup diced

58

1.2

Hard boiled egg, 2 Tbsp

26

1.8

Light tuna, water-packed, drained, 1/4 cup

45

.3

-Janet Franklin

Janet Franklin is a dietetic intern from San Francisco State College.