When eating at a restaurant, people often order salads in an attempt to choose something healthy. Salads are an excellent way to increase fruit and vegetable intake, but are they always the healthiest option? Many restaurants offer salads that are loaded with excess calories, saturated fat, and sodium. Be aware of calorie dense items such as shredded cheese (1/4 cup =100 calories), pecan halves (10 = 85 calories), oil (1 tbsp = 120 calories), and craisins (1/3 cup = 140 calories). If you are not careful, a salad can easily become the highest calorie item on the menu! Follow these tips from eatright.org to keep your salads healthy:
- Stick to lean protein like grilled chicken or tuna in salads, instead of fried chicken, bacon, or shrimp.
- Order salad dressing on the side to cut down on calories and avoid excess dressing.
- Allow one "high-calorie" topping like cheese, nuts, or noodles; because adding all of them will rack up calories and fat.
- Ask for extra vegetables and replace iceberg lettuce with romaine, spinach, or arugula.
Below are a few salads that you may want to think twice before ordering as your healthy entree.