Is Salad a Good Choice when Dieting?


If you are following my blog you know I am on a weigh down journey. On this journey I am planning to lose at least 75 lbs. I plan to lose this weight by portion control. I do not say I am dieting, and I know this has been said over and over but I truly do plan on this portion control being a way of life. At this point I have lost around 20 lbs. Today, I went in to a BBQ restaurant for lunch. I decided to have a smoked turkey salad with honey mustard. When my salad was brought to the table I immediately halved it and put half into a to go box. As I dipped my fork into the dressing and spread over the salad, I began to think. Is a salad always a good choice when trying to lose weight? It is almost always served with high fat and some high calorie foods. Mine actually in my mind was OK. It contained lettuce, tomato, onion, carrot strips, croutons, and smoked turkey. The bad part was the high fat dressing and the crackers served with it. Give me a bonus point! I did not pour the dressing on, just drizzled on a small amount. I only ate 2 crackers and removed the croutons.

What about a salad bar? Is it always a good diet choice? On the salad bar you have good choices and bad choices. Let’s take a look at the good choices. You have several vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, tomato, mushrooms, bean sprouts, celery, broccoli, onions, and peppers. Eat freely. Of course on a portion control you also watch your portion size on vegetables. Some salad bars do have low fat dressing. Give them a bonus point!

Now comes the hidden calories and fat. We are at a salad bar. It’s all low calorie and low fat right? Not! A salad bar can really be a diet sabotage. Salad dressing has high high calorie and fat. French dressing has approximately 73 calories and 7 fat grams. Blue Cheese, my favorite, has approximately 80 calories, 10 fat grams, and 2 grams saturated fat. What about my type of dressing from today? Honey mustard has approximately 50 calories, and 3 fat grams. All three dressing estimates are based on 1 tablespoon. Have you ever seen how little that looks on your salad? Hey give me another bonus point! My dressing had the fewest calories and fat.

Hidden sweet foods are also on that salad bar such as candid fruit, pudding, jello, 3 bean salad, canned beets, and sweet pickles. I know we can all spot these.

Then we have very high carbohydrate foods such as potato salad, pasta salad, croutons, and crackers. Even if we are not doing a low carbohydrate diet, we would still need to consume lightly.

How about high fat foods on a salad bar? They are there for sure. We will always find bacon bits, potato salad, pasta salad, 3 bean salad, cucumber salad, croutons, crackers, cheese, and remember the high fat dresses.

In conclusion of my thoughts on salad as a good weight loss food, I think a salad, even with all it’s hidden faults, is still a pretty good choice. We just have to watch for those faults and take them out or at a salad bar just don’t put them on your plate. Remember, when ordering salad always ask for dressing on the side. Dip your fork into the dressing and drag through your salad. This will lessen your intake of dressing.

My favorite Recipe for fresh homemade salad:

Fresh tossed Salad


Romaine lettuce
Red onion
Cherry tomatoes
Low fat bacon bits
Boiled egg
Carrot strips
Low Fat Honey Mustard dressing

Boil egg and chop. Make sure egg is cool before putting in salad. Toss all other ingredients and enjoy.

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