Not all Salads are created equal.
Funny we think if we start our meal with a salad we can eat whatever we want and all is forgiven. There’s a salad on every menu and we believe they are always our best choice. We know we need to get our fruits and our veggies but we live in a world that we can’t eat anything that is just natural. We have to eat out fruits and vegetables with dip, peanut butter, dressing, butter, syrups. Some of us have no idea what an apple actually tastes like.
Sad but true. But where we go the most wrong is in the salad department. I was at Mad Greens a few weeks ago it was so busy and lunch time. I laughed as I watched so many men (not criticizing just an observation) getting great big salads and then adding every cheese, meat, nut and chip available but they were able to go home that night and say I had a salad at lunch. I was at a buffet with my husband not too long ago and he came back to the table with a big grin because he had all these salads on his plate. Crab salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, jello salad, and about a cup of lettuce. So proud of himself, his wife rolling her eyes.
Of course I am not trashing all salads but honestly pretty much any restaurant you go to you are going to have to be very specific to get an all veggie salad with no ad ones and dressing on the side. Oh yes and who wants that? Most if us want the fun stuff that’s what we order salads. But then we justify “I had a salad”.
Lets get some facts and numbers:
Lettuce for 1 cup is 8 calories, tomato for 1 cup is 32 calories, carrots 1 cup is 53 calories, and cucumbers are 16 calories for 1 cup. I can safely say these options are fat free and great choices. But I have yet to go to any restaurant and those are the only ingredients. Most have cheese (2 TBS 114 calories 9 gr of fat) and croutons (1 oz 116 calories). That is before dressing.
Creamy salad dressing 1 TB is approx 73 calories and 8 gr of fat. On average if you order your dressing on the side they are going to bring you 1/4 cup minimum (usually 1/3) that is 4 TB or 292 calories and 32 gr of fat. (Credit to you who dip your fork) But how often have you kept that dressing to dip your fries in?
Here’s some salads I researched. Just the calories and fat grams.
Panera Greek Salad with dressing 370 calories and 34 gr of fat
Outback Wedge salad with dressing 407 calories and 36 gr of fat
Outback Steak house salad 1022 calories and 72 gr of fat.
Marie calendar Cobb salad without dressing 620 calories 36 gr of fat
Qdoba Grilled chicken taco salad 964 calories and 54 gr of fat.
Costco Grilled Chicken Caesar with dressing 669 calories and 40 gr of fat.
Please don’t let the fact that they have dressing on some think you can just leave that off and lower it enough. Use your common sense. Ask question do your research. Because honestly a salad does not make me nearly as satisfied and happy as a steak and asparagus. Think of it this way I could have a burger but leave the bun and bacon off and it could be less that a salad. To be successful at weight loss and a healthy lifestyle you have to still be able to enjoy your foods. So if you love salads by all means have at it but know they still count and are not always the most healthy choice.
Always ask what you want the most and plan for it. Educate yourself on foods and their nutritional content. That will help you be successful for the rest of your life.
Live a life you love ❤️