Opting to go light and healthy? Think your healthy plate of salad is the best bet to keep all the unhealthy carbs and fats at bay? Think again. Yes, a generous helping of greens and vegetables is surely low in calories and provides a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, but the fattening dressings and toppings tossed with your leafy greens can instead make your healthy meal of the day a feast of calories and fats! Here’s how.
Now we all know the importance of loading up on healthy and leafy greens daily; they are a powerhouse of nutrients like proteins, fibres and vitamins. The problem, however, with the ever-so nutritious greens is that they may not taste so good on their own. Hence we spruce up our salads by adding all sorts of unhealthy ingredients and toppings to make it more flavourful and palatable (Think: cheese, bacon, croutons).
Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood says, “Any toppings or dressings that are high in fat like cheese or mayo should automatically be ruled out from your ‘healthy’ bowl of salad. However, well-chosen toppings can turn a salad into the most nutritionally-balanced meal of the day too. The best picks are lemon juice, olive olive or any kind of traditional French dressings.”
Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora ND says, “Most commercial salad dressings are full of hydrogentaed fats that are inflammatory and cause many ailments. The additives in these dressings are chemicals that the body needs to flush out. highly acidic commercial dressings in the salads are far from being healthy. Simple dressing made of apple cider and virgin coconut oil or olive an flaxseed oil is the best option.”
Here’s what you should be avoiding while tossing up your own bowl of salad or ordering one at a restaurant –
As a general rule of thumb, cheese is slotted in the category of ‘fattening foods’, but somehow we tend to forget the fact when we order generous amounts of it in our salads, thinking the vitamin rich quality of greens would neutralise the fattening effects of cheese. But that may not be the case entirely. While cheese is good quality protein and calcium, most of the cheese used in the salads are full-fat varieties that are high in saturated fat and calories. One cup of crumbled feta cheese is approximately 396 calories while Parmesan and Mozzarella are packed with way more.
Bacon is loaded with fat and not of the best kind. A single teaspoon of bacon adds about 35 calories to your healthy bowl of salad. Not just fats, the high amount of sodium that comes along with a single strip of bacon is quite a threat to your expanding waistline too
Bacon is loaded with fat and not of the best kind.
3.CroutonsThe little cubes of bread can do much harm to your weight loss effort than you imagined. These little toasted white bread pieces are loaded with fats. Four tablespoons of them can contain approximately 200 calories! It is advisable to call for your salad without croutons while placing your order in a restaurant. At home you can make them with whole wheat, and bake them instead of toasting with butter for a healthier option.
4.Thick Creamy DressingsFan of ranch, blue cheese or creamy Italian dressing? Beware for these rich dressings as they come with bucket loads of calories. Many of them can add up to 180-200 calories per serving.
5. Crispy Breaded Chicken or Prawns
‘Crispy’ is only a cushioned term for fried! You like fried chicken, breaded chicken or fried prawns in your salads, be careful for it can contain double to triple the amount of calories as compared to its grilled or steamed varieties.
Fried prawns can contain double to triple the amount of calories as compared to its grilled or steamed varieties.
6. Pasta SaladThe pasta used in most restaurants is the refined flour variety, and the added mayonnaise and cheese dressings on top only make the case worse. If you are making pasta at home, ditch the packaged pasta of the market and prepare your own version with whole grain noodles. Toss them with a handful of fresh cut vegetables, and yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
If you are making pasta at home, ditch the packaged pasta of the market and prepare your own version with whole grain noodles.
7. Patato SaladPacked with vitamins and proteins, potatoes are also loaded with carbohydrates, and the high calorie mayo dressings is only inviting a few more inches to the expanding waistline. Enjoy the salad only as a side, or make your own version without mayonnaise. Reduce the carbs in your salad to three medium-sized potatoes.
Here’s Why Your Salad May Not Be The Most Healthy Meal of Your Day
The way to fitness is not just hogging every ‘healthy’ food blindly. Keep these tips in mind and have a hearty and nutritionally salad without a thought of putting any excess pound.