How salad can tip the scale: dieter beware not all salads are created equally!
Salads are by far the healthiest chose to order in restaurants and cafes. The large serving of vegetables and fruits are low in fat, calories, and provide an abundance of antioxidants and vitamins to boost your energy levels. But while salads can start off healthy, some end up with higher calories than even a Whopper thanks to creaming dressing and fatty toppings. Many chains are guilty of making this transformation happen, so it’s in your favor to choose toppings that keep a salad healthy and avoid the dishes that pack a caloric punch.
The Right Toppings
Adding the wrong toppings can make or break your salad, so be mindful of what you put on your plate. The main culprit are dressings like French, ranch, and thousand island which can have around 150 calories of fat per serving and high levels of sodium. Instead of drowning your veggies in these, choose healthier vinaigrettes and olive oil to order on the side to control the amount.
Other toppings to avoid are glazed nuts, “fried” chips or meat, and croutons that are popular at the salad bar. Nuts are a healthy fat until their covered in sugar, so stick to adding an ounce of dry-roasted ones like almonds, pistachios, and pecans to save calories. Fried tortilla chips and meats like bacon have high fat and sodium, so save them for another time and choose leaner options instead. Some great substitutes are eggs, shrimp, salmon, or sliced chicken from the grill. Lastly, croutons add refined carbohydrates that wreck your metabolism so make sure to skip using them altogether.
When you’re out, it’s not easy to know which salad is healthy in a snap, so watch out for the following dishes that are some of the fattiest at food chains that otherwise have much healthier choices.