If I can call it a salad, that means it’s healthy right? Some of us may wish this was true, but unfortunately it’s not. I’ll say it loud for the people in the back, not all salads are created equal! We look at salads as a healthy alternative. In some cases they can be doing us more harm than good. You even may be getting more nutritional value from something like a burger. So let’s not be fooled, watch out for some of these properties listed that may make your salad more of the enemy than your friend. This doesn’t mean these are forbidden! Just to keep in mind when looking to choose a healthier option. Remember moderation is key, and be mindful when picking and choosing. Also, stay tuned for an article coming out on tips to building your own healthy salad!
Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad
This salad can reach almost 1,000 calories before even adding the dressing, by choosing crispy chicken – which is fried. The dressing itself can reach 200 calories, and add and unhealthy amount of saturated fat to your salad.
Tip: Try choosing grilled chicken over crispy chicken. For the dressing you can either pick a lite/fat-free dressing with lower calories, and fat. You can even make a home-made Caesar dressing using Greek yogurt as a healthy alternative.
Asian Grilled Chicken Salad
The name of this salad sounds healthy which can be deceiving. As with most salads, you have to watch out for the additives. Extras like fried noodles and sodium-pack Asian dressings can increase calories, sodium, and fat content.
Tip: Remove or swap extras for healthier options, like nuts to still get the crunch.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
The buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing in this salad can amp up the sodium content and amount of calories in this salad.
Tip: Ask for the buffalo sauce on the side. Dip your fork in it before picking up the chicken and the greens. This allows you to enjoy the buffalo flavor, while being cautious.
Taco salads are no more than eating a taco on a plate, rather than in a taco shell. Tacos and taco salads are fun to make, you can get creative with extras and toppings – which also makes it easy to get out of hand. Throwing high-fat fillings on top of the meat, like sour cream and cheeses, continues to increase calories and sodium content.
Tip: Load up with veggies like tomatoes, pico de gallo, lettuce, and corn. Switch out sour cream for a scoop of fat-free Greek yogurt, or a fat-free sour cream
This salad is usually made up out of blue cheese, bacon, and chicken or turkey. They’re also often fully packed, and huge portion sizes that can rack up, up to 1,300 calories.
Tip: Be mindful of portion sizes. Even though its ” just a salad”, salads jammed packed with ingredients like these disguise their calorie count.
Steak and red meat itself is already high in calories and saturated fats (which is why too much can cause an increase in bad cholesterol levels). So adding in extras high in fats, like blue cheese, can amp up the fat content and calorie count in these salads.
Tip: When eating salads with high-fat proteins like steak, try to stick to lower calorie/fat-free extras like vegetables.
Article written by GUADS member Breanna, with contributions from shape.com