Okay guys, here's the thing. If you are going to bite the bullet and order that salad when you are out at a restaurant, you don't want to defeat the purpose via the salad ingredients. Let's consider a few things we put on our diet food to make it just as fattening as ordering a burger and fries.
Salad Ingredients that are not healthy
Obviously salad dressings are the biggest culprit. There are two issues with this. We always reach for the creamy dressings because they taste the best. If you don't really like salad, ranch can make it easier on the palate. The problem is this: creamy dressings are often high in fat and oil content, and not the good kinds. Add the fact that we smother our salads in multiple servings, and the weight loss benefits are negated. Get a low fat dressing, a vinaigrette, or just go with oil and vinegar.
Our next enemy is the crouton. They are usually processed from white bread and are straight up carbs that become sugars in the body and then fat. They also contain oils, flavorings, and preservatives that are bad for you. Again, if you want bread, have a sandwich not a salad. Croutons defeat the purpose.
Cheese can be another weight gainer, especially processed cheeses. Once again, moderation may be the problem. Every quarter cup of cheese will add over 100 calories to your salad. Some feta or blue cheese crumbles are okay, but we can't cover our salads in processed cheese and fool ourselves into thinking it's a diet food.
Breaded and Fried Protein
We think this next one is common sense. Breaded meats don't belong on a healthy salad. If you want fried chicken then forget your diet and go eat some fried chicken. If you want to drop the pounds, then switch to grilled chicken or even something like grilled shrimp.
Last but not least we have the dreaded processed meats. Generally when you order a chef salad you will see that it's covered in so much ham, turkey, and bacon you can't see the lettuce until a few minutes into your meal. Stay away from processes meats on your salad, and especially avoid bacon bits. These salad ingredients have the wrong kind of fat, and will send your waist line in the wrong direction.
We know we just killed a lot of your favorite salad toppings, but there are some great healthy alternatives. Remember: moderation is the key. A little of the right kind of cheese, a low calorie dressing, switching to grilled meat, and using nuts instead of croutons to add crunch will get you some healthier fats and some nice flavors.