Well… that’s not always true. There are some salads that are deceptively high in calories and contain some things you should probably not be eating if you’re trying to lose weight.
Here are five of the ‘worst salads for weight loss’ – they are actually bad for you and your diet – and what to eat instead.
1. Any salad with something deep-fried in it
Salads are getting fancier and fancier all the time. They – and health-food in general – have also become quite trendy, which has led to fast-food franchises introducing a ‘healthy’ salad option on their menus.
The problem with this is that you’ll end up with a fried-chicken salad.
Remember, deep-fried ANYTHING is not a good idea. Just because it’s in a salad doesn’t suddenly make it OK, especially because this type of salad is probably going to come with one or more of the other things on this list too.
Solution: Eat a salad with grilled chicken in it.
2. Any salad with a creamy dressing
A tasty dressing is THE way in which most people who don’t love the taste of lettuce think they can disguise the fact that they are eating a salad for dinner. They drown the healthy stuff in a creamy ‘1000 Island’ or ‘Greek’ dressing and pat themselves on the back for eating so many veggies.
Unfortunately the creamy dressing really goes a long way to turning a potentially healthy salad into a pretty unhealthy meal choice. The dressing is full of sugar, fat and chemical additives and preservatives that don’t do anything good for you.
Solution: Use an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing you make yourself. It takes one minute.
3. Cheese and crouton salad
If you’re eating salad, part of the point is NOT eating something like a cheese sandwich.
The problem is, a salad with croutons and cheese essentially means you’re eating the cheese sandwich anyway – with the added unhealthy factor of the bread being fried. Not ideal, right? It’s better than JUST eating a deep fried cheese sandwich, but certainly not a ‘healthy’ dinner choice for weight loss.
Solution: Add a LITTLE bit of feta cheese to your salad. It tastes strong so you don’t need much. Skip the croutons completely, or cut some dry, unbuttered toast into little squares instead.
4. Sweet salad
There seems to be a current trend towards eating ‘sweet’ salads – salads that contain sugar-coated nuts and dried fruits.
Again, eating salad is a great idea. But do you really need to add candies to it to make it palatable? If you make a salad with creative ingredients and a tasty dressing, plus EAT LIKE AN ADULT (not all your food needs to be mind-blowingly stimulating), then you don’t need sweets in your salad. It’s not a dessert.
Solution: Use fresh fruit or sun-dried raisins and nuts if you want a little sweetness, and also adjust your eating preferences to adopt a more mature outlook on what eating is all about.
5. Any salad with a fat-free dressing
Thing to remember about ‘fat-free’: it DOESN’T mean ‘sugar-free’, ‘chemical-free’, ‘artificial sweetener-free’ or ‘healthier than the full-fat version’.
Fat-free is generally just a marketing gimmick used to sell things to people who think fat is evil. Dressing your salad with fat-free dressing is almost as bad as dressing it with creamy dressing.
Solution: Again, a home-made dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice and finely chopped fresh herbs, is the winner here.
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