…Your salad could be ruining your weight loss program!!!
Eating salad is probably on your top ten food choices when it comes to eating healthy. You grab a quick salad for lunch, add a small salad with dinner or order a salad when eating out. You believe that eating this way will help you reach your goal of living healthier and eating better.
Without really knowing exactly what you’re eating and how many calories you’re actually consuming, you’ll continue to lose the battle against weight loss. But I, Dr. Ferguson—The Health and Wellness Queen, am here to tell you that not all salads are creating equally.
Imagine your favorite salad….fresh, crispy lettuce leaves, tomatoes, broccoli florets, cucumbers, grilled chicken breast strips…topped with shredded cheese or feta cheese, chopped egg and enough salad dressing to coat each leaf. You may think that eating a salad is way better than grabbing a bite to eat at the nearby fast food joint…but with the added cheese, egg yolks and regular salad dressing, you could be eating your very own version of a Big Mac or Whopper sandwich….with close to 800 calories!!
Here are some eye-opening facts about salads…and how knowing this can save hundreds of calories and keep you from reaching your weight loss goal:
1. Your favorite Asian salad with a peanut based dressing adds extra fat calories.
2. Crumbled blue cheese, feta cheese and regular shredded cheese adds great flavor but also substantially increases your caloric intake.
3. Regular salad dressing has an unacceptable amount of saturated fat from its oil based component especially if you’re trying to lower or limit your daily fat intake.
4. Get your fat from healthier options, like avocado, olives, and nuts such as almonds and walnuts.
5. Hardboiled eggs can be a healthy edition…minus the egg yolk. All you need to do is cook a hardboiled egg as usual but instead of chopping up the whole egg, remove the yolk and chop up the egg white component—lowering your cholesterol and your calories…helping you eat better and healthier.
6. Reduced fat salad dressing is a viable option as long as you stick within the serving size and monitor your overall caloric content. Reduced fat dressing doesn’t necessarily translate into reduced calorie dressing—meaning that if you pour on the dressing and drown your salad, you’ll wind up eating more calories than you’d like. Think moderation when adding dressing to your salad. If you really want to control how much salad dressing you use, keep your dressing on the side instead of pouring it on and dip each forkful in the dressing. You’ll be surprised at how much less dressing you’ll actually use this way. The overarching theme when it comes to eating healthy and that includes eating salads is to know what you’re putting in your mouth, keep track of the serving size and stick within your desired caloric intake.
7. Keep both variety and color in your salad, eating at least four or five fruits and vegetables and varying your color palette. You’ll increase the “curb appeal” of your salad and keep you excited and interested in eating healthier.
So the next time you step up to the salad bar or order a salad for lunch or dinner at your favorite restaurant, remember that all salads are not created equal. Make your salad perfect. Don’t skimp on the flavor but cut back on the hidden fat and calories.
To your wellness,
Dr. Traci Ferguson, The Health and Wellness Queen