In late Spring, I find a crisp salad to be the perfect lunch. When it comes to watching your waistline, all salads are not created equal. Here are a few guidelines to help navigate the salad bar and keep your salad healthy and not a vehicle for unknown calories.
- Do make your own salad whenever possible.
Don't think that the pre-made salads are always going to be healthy.
- Do get the darker leafy greens, like spinach, romaine, or arugula.
Don't fill your bowl with iceberg lettuce — it offers little to nothing nutritionally.
- Do load up on fresh veggies.
Don't load up on roasted veggies — salad bar roasted veggies are often coated with butter and oil.
I've got more tips for building a healthier salad, so read more.
- Do get a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing on the side.
Don't drench your salad in a creamy dressing — even lowfat creamy dressings are loaded with sodium.
- Do toss a handful raw nuts on top of your greens.
Don't throw a salad on top of your salad — tuna, egg, and chicken salads are loaded with mayonnaise.
- Do add a protein like ahi tuna, hard boiled eggs, or baked chicken breast.
Don't add bacon bits rationalizing they're providing protein.