Not all salads are created equal. By choosing a salad over a surge and chips, you are expecting (quite rightly) for it to be healthy, full of antioxidants and nutrients and low in fat. But not all salads are created equal…
Many people think that by ordering a salad they are eating healthy. It’s always a good start; a heaping serving of greens and vegetables is low in calories and provides a lot of valuable nutrition! But while most salads start off healthy, some wind up anything but, thanks to all the calories and fat plopped on top. With enough dressing, bacon bits, and croutons, a salad can clock up half a day’s worth or more of fat and calories.
That’s not to say that salads must be limited to cucumbers, tomatoes, and a spritz of lemon. Well-chosen toppings can turn a salad into a hearty, nutritionally-balanced meal.
Here’s a few things to avoid to stop a good salad turning bad:
Only using Iceberg Lettuce. Um, there are literally very few nutrients or much of anything in this. Darker greens, such as spinach, leaf lettuce, arugula, dandelion greens, kale tend to be richer in folate, vitamin A, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Ditch the bread or croutons. Very little nutrition – big on calories.
Fried meats or crumbed chicken. Adding a healthy protein source can transform a salad into a great balanced meal, but adding deep-fried chicken strips or chunks of processed lunch meats is not the same thing.
Cheese is a funny one. It’s an excellent source of calcium and protein, but it’s also loaded with sodium and saturated fat. Just be mindful of quantity and hard cheeses like Parmesan are often a better choice!
And to make your own, here’s a site we found and love for some great recipe ideas! The Healthy Chef.