Making Sure Your Salad is Not Sabotaging Your Waistline!

Making Sure Your Salad is Not Sabotaging Your Waistline!

 

Eating salad can be a great way to boost important nutrients in your diet.  Salads can be full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.  When eaten as a starter to the meal, they have been shown to reduce your meals total calorie consumption by 12 percent.  However, all salads are not created equal and some are can actually you’re your weight loss efforts.  Some salad bars can have you creating a meal that tops 1,000 calories and many restaurant salads are drowning in dressing, sending calorie counts sky high. 

Some examples of unhealthy salads from chain restaurants are:

  • Applebee’s Grilled Shrimp ‘N Spinach Salad has 960 calories and 65g fat
  • California Pizza Kitchen’s California Cobb with Ranch Dressing has 940 calories and 72g fat.
  • Outback’s Sesame Salmon Salad has 704 calories and 49g of fat.
  • Red Robin’s Chicken alla Caprese Salad has 864 calories and 56g of fat.

Toppings are one area that adds on calories and unhealthy saturated fat.  These include: full-fat dressing, cheese, croutons, and mayo-rich options like tuna or egg salad. The best choices are obvious: salad greens, any raw or cooked veggies; beans; lean proteins like chicken or turkey and a light (not fat free) dressing.

Here are two salads created from the same salad bar. Each contains the same portion of salad greens, six different toppings and dressing.

High Calorie Salad

2 cups salad greens, 16 cals, 0g fat

Croutons, ¼ cup, 50 cals, 2g fat

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

Cheddar Cheese, ¼ cup shredded, 114 cals, 9.4g fat

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

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

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

Ranch dressing, ¼ cup, 218 cals, 23g fat

Totals: 673 Calories, 58 grams fat

Healthier Choice Salad

 

2 cups salad greens, 16 cals, 0g fat

Tomatoes, 5 cherry, 15 cals, 2g fat

Cucumber, ¼ cup sliced, 5 cals, 0g fat

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

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

Carrots, ¼ cup shredded, 11 cals, 0g fat

Mushrooms, ¼ cup sliced, 4 cals, 0g fat

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

150 calories, 6 grams fat

 

Here are some more options for healthier salads:

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 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 Tbsp crumbled

60

4.8

Feta, 2 Tbsp crumbled

50

4

Cheddar cheese, ¼ 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, ¼ cup

45

.3

 

 

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