If you want to lose weight, then a salad is your best friend, right? Perhaps not. There are a lot of very common unhealthy salad making mistakes that can hold you back in ways that you may never have expected.
It’s true that these veggie and sometimes fruit mixes can be very high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and enzymes, but that’s not all. It is this high nutrient level that can lead to the unhealthy salad making mistakes. All those gorgeous nutrients can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They can also be filled with calories, unhealthy fats and sugars, depending on the ingredients chosen.
Consider the following unhealthy salad making mistakes so you can more easily avoid them:
· High calorie dressings
The dressing you choose can make a tremendous difference in the calorie, salt, sugar and fat content of a salad. You could fill a huge bowl with veggies that total 100 calories and then consume over 400 calories or more simply by adding the wrong dressing or by pouring far too much of it onto your meal. Be wary of shelf-stable dressings you find in your grocery store. This is particularly true of creamy options.
· Fat free dressings
To avoid creamy and fatty dressings that are packed with calories, you might feel inclined to get fat free dressings instead. Unfortunately, when the makers of these products take out the fat, they need to replace the flavor. Usually, that comes in the form of sugar, even if it doesn’t taste like a sweet flavor. For 2 tablespoons of dressing, you can end up eating 9 grams of sugar (2 and a half teaspoons). Since you likely use more than 2 tablespoons of dressing on your salad, you’ll consume a huge amount of sugar as a result of it.
Keep in mind that women are supposed to eat no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day and men aren’t supposed to have more than 9 teaspoons per day.
· High calorie ingredients
Just because an ingredient is good for you, it doesn’t mean it’s low cal. Foods like seeds, nuts, avocados and many others are packed with healthy fats. While this makes them great for you, it also means that they’re very high in calories and should therefore be consumed in moderation.
While you may have heard that iceberg lettuce should be avoided, this may actually be a myth. Indeed, it’s not as high in nutrients as kale, spinach or even romaine, but it’s very low in calories, while being high in water and fiber. Not too shabby after all!