You always have the best intention when it comes to choosing healthy fare when you're at a restaurant or walking through the aisles at a local grocery store.
And most of the time, you pretty much have a solid idea what is good for you and what isn't. Then again, sometimes the lines between those two ways of thinking become easily blurred.
Most of that inconsistently centers on certain meals or food that is promoted, marketed or thought to be healthy but somewhere along the way take a detour from healthy to way too heavy.
One of the bigger culprits, particularly when you go out to eat, is the salad section of the accompanying menu. Everyone knows that if you're trying to eat better or even lighter, salad must be the way to go.
That isn't always the case.
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Restaurants tend to doctor up their salads to the point that they have a higher fat content than the cheeseburger and French fries on the next page of that same menu. Where salads tend to go wrong are in two places: the toppings and the dressing.
Nothing kills the healthy value of a salad like a heaping helping of ranch or french dressing or any other creamy fare that takes your green, leafy love affair with lettuce to a very dark place from a calorie standpoint. Equally troublesome when it comes to salad is adding everything from cheese and bacon or fattier meats like salami or ham to the top. You'd be better served to stick with chicken, lean steak or salmon and steer clear of the luncheon meats. As far as the cheese, stick with a lighter mozzarella or provolone and go against your taste buds when it comes to cheddar, swiss or blue cheese crumbles.
So if the salad looks too good to be true, it probably is.
In addition to that high calorie salad, you also have to be a little leery of smoothies or other fruit drinks that sound delectable but actually fall under the category of troubling. Smoothies, when made from scratch at home with frozen fruit and low fat yogurt, aren't so bad, but where you tend to get into trouble is store bought, already made smoothies that are filled with sugar and Sucralose or other additives that you want to steer clear of on a daily basis.
Just because the label says "real fruit smoothie" doesn't mean it hasn't been doctored up to taste tempting and delicious with a little help from other ingredients that shouldn't be there.
As much as you want to eat healthy and feel better, don't fall victim to thinking that all salads or smoothies are created equal. If you're not making it at home for yourself, take a long look at what's in them before you determine if it actually is an alternative worth taking.
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