So you started your new healthy eating regime and decided to go with a salad instead of that burger you were craving. Congrats! You picked the healthier option, and that’s a great start. But when it comes down to it, was your choice really healthier than the latter? While many think that choosing a salad is automatically a healthier option, it’s actually the ingredients of a salad that make or break it’s nutritional and caloric value. Depending on which ingredients you choose to put on your salad, it is possible that your salad could end up being just as unhealthy as that burger you turned down. When considering making or ordering a salad, consider trading some common ingredients for even more nutritional ones!
Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad: 1,240 calories, 77 grams fat, 2,000 mg sodium
Wendy’s Triple Baconator: 1,350 calories, 90 grams fat, 2,780 mg sodium
Best Picks: Spinach, arugula, kale, spring mix
Skip: Iceberg lettuce, Romaine
Check out the article in July/August 2020 for a full breakdown of nutritional greens!
Best Picks: Hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, beans/legumes, quinoa
Skip: Fried foods, bacon, processed deli meats, ground beef
Best Picks: Feta, cottage cheese, mozzarella
Skip: Cheddar, bleu cheese, goat cheese
Best Picks: Cucumber, broccoli, peppers, carrots, tomato, fruit, avocado, seeds, nuts, beets, sweet potato
Skip: Croutons, tortilla chips, wontons, candied nuts, dried fruit
LET’S TALK DRESSING
Harvard Health suggests looking for dressings with low values of saturated fat, sodium and sugar.
Recommended amount: 2 tbsp
Best Picks: Fresh salsa, Greek yogurt, olive oil, vinegar
Skip: Ranch, barbecue, bleu cheese, honey mustard, Caesar
NUTRITION VS. CALORIES
Just because foods are low-calorie, doesn’t make them “healthy.” When considering ingredients for your salad (or any other meals) remember to think nutrition first!
Stockpile your meals with foods that are filled with vitamins, protein, healthy fats and smart carbs!