Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pitfalls of a salad

Salads are healthy! If you want to watch what you're eating, eat a salad!

Well, that isn't always true. Some salads are gut bombs and have more than 1,000 calories.

The latest issue of Men's Health spells out the disparities a salad can offer. At Chevy's Fresh Mex, they compare two salads and they couldn't be more opposite from each other.

The Santa Fe Chopped Salad has 318 calories with 39 grams of protein, 28 grams of carbs and 9 grams of fiber. These figures are without bacon and cheese.

By contrast, the Tostada Salad with chicken has 1,551 calories, 94 grams of fat and 2,480 mg of sodium. That's not just bad for a salad, it's bad for a meal. Any meal. That it's a salad that has those numbers is downright terrible. Even if you add in the cheese to the Santa Fe Chopped Salad, it would still be a great alternative to the gut bomb of a Tostada Salad.

In general, some things will make salads unhealthy: dressing, cheese, croutons fall into that category. Too much of the wrong kind of dressing will destroy any salad. Cheese is the downfall of the Tostada Salad while croutons can add up. In fact, according to, six large or nine small croutons have 29 calories. That's fine if you can control your portions but sometimes salads come loaded with croutons.

Salads loaded with dressing, cheese and/or croutons aren't that healthy. Those loaded with mostly veggies are. And those are the ones worth eating.

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