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By : HealtheHeadlines.com Advisory Team | 75,670 views
If you were asked to make a list of the healthiest food options available at any restaurant chains or fast food establishment many people would list salads as one of the top choices. While salads generally contain micronutrient dense vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers they may also contain far more calories than you may have thought possible. The scary truth is most fast food salads contain more fat and calories than many other menu options. Any salad can be made healthy as long as you avoid adding these toppings AT ALL COSTS.
(Per 1 cup: Calories 122, Fat 2g, Carbohydrates 22g, Protein 3g)Just a single cup of croutons contain 22 grams of carbohydrates. You may be packing on substantially more calories than previously expected. Simply leave these off and add in some crispier vegetables such as cucumbers if you crave that crunch.
Per 1 cup, Calories 396, Fat 32g, Carbohydrates 6g, Protein 21gFeta is the cheese of choice in many Mediterranean salad recipes due to its unique flavor and texture. Be careful adding this to your salad as a single cup of Feta cheese contains more than half the daily recommended value of dietary fat. Yes you heard right. JUST the cheese on your “healthy salad” contains more than half the fat you should consume throughout the course of an entire day. Opt for lower-fat cheese instead.
Per 100g, Calories 541, Fat 42g, Carbohydrates 1g, Protein 37gBacon is one of the fattiest forms of meat known to mankind. In FACT, recent studies have even suggested the possibility of bacon being linked to chronic ailments such as cancer and heart disease. Think twice before adding bits of bacon to your salad.
Per 1 serving: Calories 145, Fat 15g, Carbohydrates 2g, Protein 0gFull-fat creamy dressings such as ranch can immediate minimize any nutritional value associated with your salad. A single serving (JUST 2 tablespoons) has 15 grams of fat. You could easily be consuming over half the daily recommended dietary fat intake without even knowing it. Stick to vinaigrette based dressings instead.
Per 1 cup: Calories 111, Fat 0.5g, Carbohydrates 26g, Protein 2gCandied nuts such as walnuts or pecans are a popular option at many restaurant establishments. Don’t get caught in the trap of believing its healthy just because it’s a nut. Nuts are naturally high in fat. Glaze them in sweet sugar or syrup and they quickly become more calorically dense. Tell the restaurant to leave them off or request them on the side.
Per 100g: Calories 237, Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 50g, Protein 7gSit down at a Mexican restaurant and you will usually find a Southwestern type salad on the menu complete with Mexican inspired toppings such as tortilla strips. Those bits of salty goodness contain carbohydrates galore deep within the realms of their outer shell. Leave these off the salad and avoid unnecessary calories.
Per 4 oz: Calories 376, Fat 22g, Carbohydrates 21g, Protein 21gPeople put two seemingly nutritious ingredients side by side chicken salad and automatically associate the meal as healthy. Little do they know the chicken in their salad has been breaded, oiled, and fried multiple times. The good news is the chicken has protein. The bad news is it also comes with plenty of fat and carbohydrates as well. Make your salad healthier by asking for grilled chicken cooked without oil.
Per 1/3 cup: Calories 123, Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 33g, Protein 0gAnother misconception amongst the general population is that fruit can be consumed in limitless amounts since it’s a healthy food. Dried fruit such as craisins are a popular salad topping but be careful as just a single serving contains 33 grams of carbohydrates.
Per ½ cup: Calories 130, Fat 5g, Carbohydrates 19g, Protein 3gCrispy noodles are a popular topping in many Asian inspired salads. These crunchy add-ons are usually fried and instantly pack on the calories to any salad. Leave them off and opt for additional vegetables instead.
In theory, salads are a healthy mixture of vegetables providing key valuable micronutrients. Creamy dressings, breaded meats, and carbohydrate filled toppings can make the salad’s caloric value rise astronomically. Salads at restaurant chains can be far unhealthier than other popular menu items. Keep your salad simple with vegetables and vinaigrette style dressings. Salads can be either a low-calorie voluminous meal or a calorie packed nightmare. The choice is yours.
Staying informed about nutritional content is the best way to control caloric intake and make the best choices possible. Salads are intended to be healthy so let’s keep them that way to help avoid fat gain.
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