I have often wondered whether salads really are a good way to maintain a healthy diet or not. I believe salads can be a part of a healthy diet, but it is important to know the facts. The facts put the numbers quickly into perspective.
Check out this article, “Fast Food Salads Often Unhealthy” by Dyanne Weiss, February 5, 2016. It speaks to this topic of the healthiness of salads. The article makes some great points on what to look at when it comes to salads.
- Avoid anything labeling as crispy (except lettuce). Crispy is restaurant-speak for fried. It makes a big difference. For example, the grilled version of McDonald’s Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken (not including dressing) contains 490 calories and 29 grams of fat, whereas the version with grilled chicken only contains 310 calories and 14grams of fat. On the positive side, both versions are low in sugar!
- Pick salads with colorful vegetables and fruit like tomatoes, peppers, apples, shredded carrots, or cabbage. Stay away from cheese and other things that add fat and calories. For example, a full order of Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken Salad has 590 calories and 27 grams of fat. Remove the blue cheese and it drops to 470 calories and 17 grams of fat. However, be wary of the sugar content. It has 40 grams; experts recommend 40 grams for the whole day!
- Whether at a fast food restaurant or a gourmet one, salad dressing wreaks havoc on a diet. The calorie counts do not include the dressing, which is listed separately. Several chains do have reduced fat options. Regardless, try to use as little as possible to keep the sugar, fat, and calories in check.
It is an interesting article with respect to calorie and fat contact. Some good reminders to always look carefully at the foods we eat on a regular basis. In addition, it is important for food producers and restaurants to be mindful of their own food products.
At Midwest Laboratories, we perform calorie analysis and produce nutritional labels for restaurants and food producers. For more information, contact a representative today.
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