A typical green salad is low in bad fats, low in calories and high in nutritional value. However, adding too many of the wrong ingredients can make a healthy salad into an unhealthy salad. The problem is often times, we think we are adding the right ingredients — when we are really adding the wrong ones.
As a rule of thumb remember these 5 Don’ts:
- Don’t Use Only Iceberg Lettuce
- Don’t Use Lots of Croutons and Bacon Bits
- Don’t Add Extra Cheese
- Don’t Add Fried and Processed Meats
- Don’t Drench Your Salad With Dressing
- (Honorable Mention) Just Say No to ALL White Stuff – sour cream, pasta, potato, tuna, and chicken salads
Now for the technicalities…
When you go to a salad bar, or even at home — you are presented with lots of “fun” toppings that you can add to your salad, that are really a fat trip. Lets break down some of the most common additives:
- Corn – yellow corn can be high in fat, carbs and calories. It is extremely important to mindful of the amount your are adding to your salad. In some cases it is better to be safe than sorry, and just cut it all together.
- Cheese – even a 1/4 cup of cheese can pack on extra unnecessary calories. Opt to cut the cheese, especially when taking into consideration the fat and calories that come with certain dressings.
- Olives – though low in calories, olives tend to be high in fat. It is definitely a wise choice to cut the olives, especially if you will be adding dressing.
- Sunflower Seeds – Unfortunately sunflower seeds, and other “crunchies” like croutons, banana chips etc — are nothing more than a fat trap and an unnecessary extra 100 calories at a minimum.
- Colorful Veggies (no dressing/roasted, no starch!): carrots, plain red peppers, and broccoli. Only 75 calories for a half cup of each!
- Lean Protein (again, dressing free!): egg whites, grilled chicken, turkey, water-packed tuna, or shrimp. 30z only amounts to about 100 calories!