Salads have a great reputation as a healthy, diet-friendly food. But, if you aren’t careful, that innocent salad you have at lunch could pack more calories than a burger and fries. Kentucky Has the Fifth Highest Adult Obesity Rate in the U.S.
You should skip (or limit) the following ingredients, which can add plenty of extra calories to a salad:
- Creamy dressings. Skip creamy salad dressings such as ranch, blue cheese and Caesar. Instead, switch to lighter vinaigrettes. You should also use this old dieting trick: Dip the tip of your fork into the dressing before you put it in the salad to get just enough taste with each bite without drowning it in dressing.
- Bacon bits. Bacon bits are filled with fat and sodium. Instead, try adding sunflower seeds to your salad for a salty crunch.
- Cheese. Cheese is a nutritious food that adds flavor, calcium and protein to a salad. However, when some people add cheese to a salad, they really pile it on – that’s why it’s on this list. Just a half-cup of cheddar cheese contains 18 grams of fat and 225 calories. If you must add cheese to your salad, do so in moderation due to its high fat content. Choose low-fat varieties to save on saturated fat and calories.
- Deli meats. Avoid adding ham, salami and other cured meats to your salad. They are high in fat and sodium. For a healthier protein option, add grilled chicken (yes, grilled not fried), roasted turkey or cooked beans.
- Tortilla chips and strips. Common in Southwestern-style salads, tortilla chips and strips are crunchy and delicious, but they are also high in fat and calories. Avoid adding crunchy tortilla strips to your salad. You should also avoid salads served in a fried tortilla bowl.
- Croutons. Croutons add crunch to a salad, but the added fat and refined carbohydrates make them an unhealthy option. Eat a whole wheat bread roll with your salad instead. Baptist Health Weight Loss Services.