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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Salad = Good? Not Always!

There are a ton of people out there who think that eating a salad (regardless of the ingredients) is the way to be healthy and lose weight.  Unfortunately this is very far from the case.

Years ago I fell hard for the Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad at TGI Friday's.  It was so delicious and I ate it somewhat frequently.  I had a feeling it wasn't as good for me as I wanted it to be, but I ate it anyway.  So it made me chuckle today when an email entitled "Worst Salads" came in to my inbox and the featured photo was of that salad.  Oops.

So how bad is it?  I only have the calorie content, but that is enough.
1,360 calories!  That's practically a whole day's worth of calories in one salad.
Some of the culprits...crusted means fried, bleu cheese, sugar coated pecans, sugary dried cranberries, so it does make some sense.  (To make myself feel better I have to say I'd get it without the cheese.)

But not all salads are bad.  It isn't terribly difficult to keep a salad healthy. 
Some things to consider:
Dressing - stay away from creamy dressings which are often mayo based, also get it on the side and try the fork method of just dipping the fork in to the dressing and then stabbing your food
Cheese - while cheese does provide calcium and protein, it can also provide a big dose of fat and calories, so just be mindful and know that certain cheeses are better picks than others
Meats - avoid anything friend/crusted
Dried fruit - know that many dried fruits are sweetened, which just adds calories and sugar
Tofu - depending on where you are, some places fry their tofu, which kind of negates the health benefit
Croutons - often fried and usually white flour

Any other suggestions?

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