Friday, April 11, 2008

Beware the salad!

It's a common assumption to think that a salad is always a healthy option. Eating a salad, after all, is akin to eating grass.

But that's not always necessarily true. Salads can actually be gut bombs.

Here's a good list of 14 supposedly healthy foods that aren't exactly healthy. Salads make up two of the 14, with the dreaded Chicken Caesar Salad coming in at number two.

As the Chicken Ceasar Salad entry points out, there are about 900 calories and 20 grams of fat in a typical serving. 900 calories! And that passes for healthy?!?

What I've found is that regular salads work best. And if you cut down on the croutons and dressing, they work even better. One thing that is difficult for me at times is to find healthy alternatives in certain restaurants. My daughters like McDonald's chicken nuggets but I usually steer clear of getting anything there. However, if the need for me to eat there arises, I can usually find a salad worth eating there. They used to have a really good Southwest chicken salad but it's been discontinued as far as I can tell. The Asian grilled chicken salad has only 300 calories without the dressing. As the dressing comes in a separate packet, you can add in as much or as little of the dressing as you like, but I think even the entire packet is only 100 calories. So even if you splurged and added the entire thing, it's only 400 calories which is about a typical lunch for me, maybe a little less.

Anyway, check out the rest of the original list of 14 and you might be surprised at some of the "healthy" options out there. The only one I really have a problem with is number 8, the granola bars. Still, I stick to the Nature Valley Oats & Honey, which has 180 per package. Not the greatest but it does settle my hunger.

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