How Healthy Is Your Salad?
July 6th, 2012
We’ve all been there, scouring the menu for something healthy because we’ve just begun our summer health kick.
Our eyes skim through the sirloins with creamy pepper sauce, flutter over that delicious grilled cod parcel with a lush mushroom and almond cream (that comes in the shape of a swan by the way – bonus) and dance over those tempting lamb shanks – ooo my mouth is watering just thinking of it all!
But, the healthy angel on your shoulder beckons us to read the salads. Leafy, green and veggie-tastic – mmm appetising..
So, you order the chicken caesar and give yourself a mini round of applause because you’re being über healthy.
Croutons, lettuce leaves drenched in creamy caesar dressing, shaven parmesan perched precariously on stacked grilled chicken and bacon bits scattered lovingly to add a little colour – delish!
But, do you know how ‘healthy’ your salad really is?
Surprisingly restaurant salads aren’t as heavenly as you think, they’re more like devils dressed in white and here’s why:
- Crunchy croutons don’t add any nutritional value to your grub. In fact, they’re just fried bits of square bread that add 100 calories per 64g to your ‘healthy’ salad. Add almonds or walnuts to get your crunch fix instead.
- Bacon bits aren’t so brill after all. These pink little gems may add a colourful crunch but they’re high in fat and usually salted to within an inch of their lives. A recent study showed that a handful of bacon bits in your caesar could contain up 1.8mg of sodium. The RDA? 2.4mg!
- Dressing up your salad may add a little oomph to the bland lettuce leaf, but usually we drench our salads in far too much. Creamy ones are the worst being high in calories and fat. Don’t believe me? Well, a normal sized portion of dressing is approx 2 tbsp which is a whopping 200 calories! You’re best to drizzle some fresh lemon or lime juice, or use a light oil dressing.
- Cheese, cheese and more cheese, It may be rich in calcium and an excellent source of protein but don’t forget it’s high in fat, especially the likes of parmesan. If cheese is a must, try using feta or mozzarella as they’re considered ‘medium’ fat cheeses.
- Iceberg lettuce may be crunchy but it has no nutritional benefits. Using spinach leaves and darker greens that are rich in minerals, phytochemicals and iron will give your body a fab health boost!
Do you have any top healthy salad tips? Share them with us on Facebook.. It’s National Salad Week (9th-16th July) after all!
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