Salads Can Make Your Fat Too!

Fresh, green salads are always a popular option for people that have decided to lose weight and introduce themselves to better eating habits. However, just because there is lettuce in a bowl doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily good for you. What you put on your salad may actually make you gain weight. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your salad is as healthy and low-calorie as you want it to be:

Don’t cover your salad with dressing, even if it’s labeled “Low Fat” or “No Fat.” Dressing contains almost no nutritional value and often contains a startling amount of calories and fat. Try tossing out dressing altogether and squeezing on some fresh lemon and lime or spooning on some salsa instead.

Don’t pile on the meat. Chopped or diced turkey and chicken breast are fine but many people choose to add chicken strips or processed sandwich meats to their salads in an attempt to add taste and protein. Choose your meats wisely.

That goes for cheese too! Although a little cheese can be a great source of calcium and protein, too much cheese can really make the calories add up. Only a quarter cup of cheese will add over 100 calories to your salad.

Stay away from croutons and bacon bits. Where else in your diet do you find bacon and heavily buttered, crisp breading? Just a ½ cup of croutons can add 100 calories to your salad. Try substituting bacon bits and croutons with chopped nuts, sunflower seeds or better yet, flax seeds.

Think dark green. While iceberg lettuce is commonly used in salads, it provides nearly no nutritional value. Try mixing in some darker greens such as arugula, spinach, leaf lettuce, watercress, kale, and basil leaves.

Stay away from the golden arches. One new fad in fast food is to offer seemingly healthier menu items for weight-conscious diners. But the truth is that most of the salads found in fast food restaurants are loaded with almost as many calories and almost as much fat as the burgers and fries! There are a few out there that are still ok, but be sure to read the restaurant’s nutritional handouts provided to be sure.

Salads are not all good - choose wisely!

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