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What's in a Healthy Salad

Updated on February 18, 2013

A colorful bowl of greens and reds, of nuts and cheeses; dressed in a sweet, tangy sauce – sounds like an appetizing healthy salad. It’s perfect for weight loss and maintenance diet.

Add some bacon bits, scampi shrimps and top it all with a mouth-watering ranch salad dressing. Now you have a supposedly low calorie, healthy salad gone wild.

Hello calories!

Fresh garden salad, anyone?
Fresh garden salad, anyone?

This proves that not all salads, even if they have greens on them, are necessarily low in calories. A healthy salad can easily go the other way with our choice of dressing. Just because you're having a salad doesn't mean that you’re saving on calories. In fact, most restaurant and fast food salads carry more calories than a Burger King Whopper!

Seems like a harmless taco salad to me...
Seems like a harmless taco salad to me...

Surprise! Surprise! : High-calorie salads

High-calorie salads are absolutely tasty because of their fat contents. We need fats in our diets to help us absorb and digest the nutrients in our foods. If you're trying to lose weight, you may want to eat not more than the size of a quarter of your plate of these salads. Some of the healthy salads which are high in calories include:

  • Potato salad
  • Chicken macaroni salad
  • Greens with mayo dressing
  • Salads with croutons and bacon
  • Chicken Caesar salads
  • Shrimp and chicken salads
  • Salads with ranch dressing

Note that an overload on cheeses, tortilla chips, mayo, croutons, and bacon bits could easily make a healthy salad go wayward in terms of nutrition and calories. If you're not careful, all your hard work in the gym may easily be stomped by the wrong choice of salads.

Thai's somtam salad with salted egg! This is worth every nutrient-packed calorie.
Thai's somtam salad with salted egg! This is worth every nutrient-packed calorie.

How to choose a healthy salad

You want a simple, delicious mix vegetables and nuts for a healthy salad that's low in calories. Use a different mix each time you make a salad at home. Some of the ingredients you can play with include:

  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cabbages
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Nuts
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell pepper
  • Grapefruit
  • Apple bits

Stay away from mayo-based dressing too. Concoct your own dressing. Some of my dressings include a mixture of:

  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider, honey, garlic, oil and mustard
  • Lime, mustard, olive oil, palm sugar, garlic, salt and pepper

If you're dining out, ask for the salad with the least added fats. Better yet, you may even save a lot on calories if you don't get a salad and order a full meal instead.

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    • mrslagibb profile image

      Mrs L A Gibb 5 years ago

      Very nutritious and healthy, I have always found salads to be bland, just by washing the lettice and all the other ingredients that is put into a salad, this is why I put a salad dressing on which makes it that much more tasty. Having read your read your article I will try your salad dressing. Voted up.