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Think Because You are Ordering a Salad That You are Eating Healthy? (Think Again)

salad on plate

Are you noticing bulges in places around your body you’ve never seen before?  Do those pants you used to be able to slip right on and off feel a little tighter these days?  Thinking about revamping your diet to help shed that extra winter weight?  Staying away from the fast food, but still venturing out to the neighborhood chain restaurant?  Feel safe ordering a salad because it’s chalk full of veggies?  Wondering why you’re still not seeing the results you’ve been working so hard to get?  Well, think again. Those hugely portioned salads you’re ordering at your favorite restaurant might not be helping trim that fat off the edges.

Think about it; when you make a casual, simple salad at home, what ingredients do you usually use?  Some nice dark greens or simple iceberg lettuce (which is really more water than nutrients), nice plump cherry tomatoes, perhaps some carrots, a sprinkle of some cheese, maybe some walnuts for texture, and a little drizzle of dressing.  But what comes in those fancy salads you order from your favorite restaurant?  All the usual suspects are there, but for some reason those restaurants always douse their salads with buckets of dressing.  And the dressings they typically use are all cream based and high in fat and calorie content.  Dressing is one of the fattiest components of a salad, and restaurants pour it on to spike up the flavor.  But this proves more counterproductive than anything for those of us trying to slim down using a strictly veggie diet.

The flavor from a good salad should come from the combination of vegetables and fruits added and not rely heavily on the dressing to pack the punch.  Dressing should be applied to a healthy salad sparingly, to add only a hint of extra flavor to what could be considered a quite bland meal.  This greatly reduced the fat intake when eating salads and allows your body to receive more nutrients and minerals than extra, superfluous calories.

The salads from your favorite restaurants usually contain well more than one thousand calories, more than half the amount of the calories in takes for your body to function throughout a single day.  And that’s just one meal.  Imagine eating three to four of these salads throughout the day.  You’d be overstocking your body with calories it doesn’t need, and calories that you would have to work twice as hard to burn off.  The calories in a healthy salad should come from the vegetables, not the fancy pants extra ingredients like fried chicken or tortilla strips.  And when the calories from the healthier salads come primarily from the vegetables, you provide your body with the energy and nutrients its needs to improve digestion, immunity, and overall functionality.

When you’re ordering a salad from one of your favorite restaurants, you can assess its nutrional value based upon the ingredients they use.  If you notice that there are things like more fried components or thick creamy dressing, these are red flags that the salad has more calories and fat then need be.  The sign of a healthy salad?  The simpler, the better.  Sometimes less really is more, and with a good, hearty, healthy salad, less really means more.

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