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How to make a Healthy Salad that tastes Great and keeps the Calories at Bay!

Updated on August 24, 2014

The first thing most people think of when going on a diet is salads. But did you know that many salads actually have more calories and are more fattening than other choices? Applebees grilled shrimp and spinach salad with dressing is a whopping 860 calories! Their oriental chicken salad is 709 calories! TGIF's Pecan-crusted Chicken salad is 750 calories and some dispute this number saying it's more like 1360 calories! You wont lose weight on these salads unless that's all you eat for the day! Here are several tips that you can do to make your salad as healthy as you already think it is! In other words, you can have your salad and eat it too!

Get a salad spinner. Yes, get one, go and get one now! The reason you want to buy a salad spinner right now is because if you don't use a salad spinner you end up using more dressing (which is usually the most fattening part of the salad) because the dressing wont adhere to watery leaves. The spinner dries the leaves so that you can use less dressing but it tastes like you've used more and voila you are saving calories right off the bat and making your salad tasting better just by spinning it!

The next thing you'll have to run out and buy is a oil mister. An oil mister helps to distribute the oil in a mist instead of a glob therefore economizing on the salad dressing without sacrificing taste.

Now that we have those two tips out of the way, the other ways that people mess up on salads making them more fattening than lets say pizza, hmmm pizza, I love pizza, sorry had a Homer Simpson moment, is to load them up with fattening foods. And, I'm not one to say that you should forgo all the goodies in a salad but what you should do is pick one or two items and use them sparingly. If you love cheese, have cheese but grate it finely so that it is evening distributed and use an ounce not a half cup! If you like nuts do the same as with the cheese. Treat the more fattening items as garnish, but I am of the mind that you should still enjoy them.

Use items that spice up your salad without adding calories. Use feta cheese, it's very strong in flavor but low in calories, use jalapeno peppers; they too will spice things up but are very low in calories. Use items like bacon bits (sparingly) or a drop of Tabasco sauce in a taco salad. Even garbanzo beans or non-fat re-fried beans in a taco salad, these items are very high in fiber which offsets the calories a bit. Try new things, add fruit to your salad or some exotic vegetable that you've never tried before, be creative! These things will spice up the salad without making them more fattening.

Finally, make sure you add some form of protein to your salad. Throw in some diced chicken or add tuna or even left over steak. Protein helps the body reach the satiety state and once their helps to keep it their longer.

I hope you enjoy these tips, too many of us think that just because we are eating a salad, any salad that we are eating healthily. I think salads are wonderful and a great way to lose weight but as with anything you have to watch what you put into it.

Good Luck and Bon Appetit!

Raw Vegan Fat Free Salad Recipe


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    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      6 years ago from Manhattan

      Yes, I found out the hard way that this is true. Thanks for commenting "carol7777".

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Very realistic...Salads can sabotage any prudent diet. A salad bar offers so many fattening, but delicious items that are worse than a sandwich. People do think salads mean diets. Your hub is great and for those who think that salad is the way to go..need to think it through and remember to substitute.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      7 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks KimberlyAnn26 for commenting.

    • KimberlyAnn26 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Hub. I have a salad spinner that I use all the time and I love it! Makes the salad so much tastier! I love adding fruit to my salad. Yummy!!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Oh Heck Yeah!

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      7 years ago from Manhattan

      You know, I haven't tried it yet but it's definitely on my list! Thanks for stopping by fucsia.

    • fucsia profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for these useful tips! The dressing in the second video is super and very light!

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      7 years ago from Manhattan

      I don't think I could EVER enjoy a salad with no dressing at all, but go for it rpalulis! Thanks for commenting Rhonda and Rpalulis

    • rpalulis profile image


      7 years ago from NY

      Great Salad Tips, those dressings will get ya every time. I am really starting to enjoy just the vinegar and oil, and sometimes no dressing at all. Funny how the taste buds to begin to change.

    • Rhonda Waits profile image

      Rhonda Musch 

      7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

      Great tips. A great article. I have a salad everyday at my house the family loves them and there good for you. I use the balsamic and vinegar dressing. I is very good and good for you. Voted up awesome.

      Sweet wishes Rhonda

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      7 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Ign for commenting.

    • Ign Andy profile image

      Ign Andy 

      7 years ago from Green Home Office

      Great tips Brie. I usually only use balsamic vinegar/lemon + extra virgin olive oil for dressing. Occasionally I will toss roasted bread in small pieces for some texture and crunchiness.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      7 years ago from Manhattan

      I know, no wonder they taste so good!

    • Loves To Read profile image

      Loves To Read 

      7 years ago

      Brie,thanks for the great salad tips. I do love salads and it is good to try new things. Those high calorie salads you spoke of sound delicious but very deceiving. There are so many hidden calories in prepared dressings and pre made salads that many do not realize.

      Many Blessings

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      7 years ago from Manhattan

      Very true! Thanks stephhicks68!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Two words: oil and vinegar. Much less fattening than traditional salad dressings. And don't forget to ask for dressings on the side at restaurants. Rated up!

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      7 years ago from Manhattan

      That and smoothies good for you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good one, learning to love salads more and more.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      7 years ago from Manhattan

      Good for you Irohner! You're a salad pro!

    • lrohner profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Great tips, Brie. Salads are a mainstay in my household, so I do have the obligatory spinner and mister.


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