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Salad toppers: Is your salad really as healthy as you think?

How can you possibly screw up a salad? You'd be surprised to find that, from a healthy standpoint, it's quite easy.
From dressings to toppings and everything in between those healthy pieces of lettuce and veggies, you can actually put together a salad that isn't good for you, or those resolutions you're in the midst of that promise a healthier eater, when in actuality you're getting a wolf in sheep's clothing as far as what you're about to ingest.
Yes, when it comes to eating healthy for lunch or dinner, the salad is always the go to meal. We've equated that meal with exactly how we should be eating, whether we're preparing a meal at home or if it's something we're ordering out in a restaurant.
But the salad, for all its wonder, often is a lot of smoke and mirrors and can easily shift from being a healthy alternative to just as bad, or worse, than that double cheeseburger you're trying to ween yourself off of as part of your new diet and healthier eating plan.
The problem with salad is that building one has to start with lettuce that isn't iceberg. Sure, you can mix a little in but if you want real fiber content and less water, you should choose kale, spinach or some sort of romaine or spring mix. Iceberg is water mostly and has little nutritional content.

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Furthermore, salad dressing is the real killer. As much as you want to convince yourself that your spinach salad is exactly what the bikini or bathing suit doctor ordered for summer, you can't hide the fact that the calories spike when you load up with creamy salad dressings, such as ranch, caesar or blue cheese. You want to stick with a lower calorie balsamic or even just oil and vinegar.
In addition, topping salads with unnecessary calories often doesn't bode well for your diet, either. Cheese is loaded with fat, and croutons and other salty, empty calorie toppers make the salad and its caloric content rise exponentially.
Salads should be loaded with veggies: peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. They also should always include some sort of protein as well, such as grilled chicken (not fried), salmon, tuna or steak (lean, of course).
You can get a lot of mileage out of salads as far as having them be superbly tasty and healthy if you stick to lean protein, low calorie dressing and enough veggies as far as the eye can see. Anything else is merely a wash when it comes to so called "changing" your diet to eat healthier when in actuality you're exactly in the same situation.

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