How Healthy is Your Salad

saladHealth experts has been right about eating vegetables, which is why more and more people are consuming vegetable salads. However, do you know that a hamburger or a plate of fries can actually be a healthier choice than a bowlful of salad? The problem is not on the leafy veggies, but on the fat-laden dressing, cheeses, croutons, and meats.

Most of the time, salads that are prepared at restaurants or fast-food joints are not the healthiest dishes on their menu. Also, the salad kits displayed on grocery stores may offer a more convenient way to prepare salads, but may not be necessarily the lowest in fat. Here’s how to make sure that you are actually getting healthy salads.

Prepare your own healthy salad

This is the surest way of creating a salad that is low-fat and nutritious. Make sure to buy the freshest ingredients and use low-fat salad dressings.

Watch for high-fat salad dressings

If you are going to eat salads in restaurants, you need to check out for red flags starting at the salad dressing. Most that are being offered in restaurants are high in saturated fat such as Caesar, Ranch, Blue Cheese, Thousand Island, and Sour Cream. Instead, ask the waiter for low-fat versions of these dressings, or opt for French- and Italian-style salad dressings, which is usually a mix of oil and vinegar mixed with herbs.

Don’t go for salads with large servings

Even though vegetables are generally low in calories and fat, eating a plateful of salad does not help a lot either especially with all the meats, cheeses, and dressings around. If the salad is served on a large container, share it with a friend, or just eat half of it take the other half home and eat it later.

Don’t go for "overly-decorated" salads

Most salads served in restaurants have too many ingredients that are high in fat and calories. Chef-style salads are usually high in saturated fat with all the meats the cheeses; while cobb salads have bacon, eggs, blue cheese, avocado, and creamy dressing; Asian-style salads have fried noodles and more than a generous sprinkling of nuts; and the classic Caesar salad has egg-based dressing, croutons, and cheese.

You can manually remove all the excess meats, cheeses, and other ingredients on the salad, or you can ask the waiter for the plainest vegetable salad available.

Don’t put all of the dressing

Salad dressings are usually served separately in restaurants, so try not to pour all of it in your salad plate. You can either pour part of the dressing on the salad or just dip a forkful of the veggies into the dressing for a lower-calorie eating.