5 Surprising Ways Your Salad is Making You Fat
Having a salad feels like going to a gym. You feel accomplished for doing it, but finding that initial motivation to do it is a challenge.
In many cases, ordering a salad is a great choice for a weight loss plan because it gives you heaps of vitamins, minerals and fiber for very little calories. However, salads that start as healthy often wind up being loaded with calories, thanks to all the extra ingredients being added on top.
We love salads and in no way should they resemble rabbit’s food. Adding high quality protein sources, good fats and variety of veggies and citrus, can make a salad hearty and incredibly delicious.
However, making the following diet mistakes will not only prevent you from seeing results in the mirror, it may make you want to ditch salads completely because of their ineffectiveness. And we want you to love salads.
You Load Your Salad with Fat Free Dressing
Choosing fat-free products does not necessarily lead to fat loss. Oftentimes, fat-free packaged products, especially fat free dressings, are highly processed, packed with sodium, carbohydrates and high fructose sugars to make them taste as good as their fat-laden counterparts.
Manufacturers want you to continue buying their brand. When they remove fat from products, they have to add other ingredients to keep items from tasting unpleasant. Some known dressing brands have thrice the sugar and carbs in their fat-free versions, compared to their full-fat ones.
What’s worse is that even with add the added carbs and sugar, fat-free versions of most foods don’t taste as satisfying, which makes you want to grab another meal after finishing your salad.
Instead of purchasing any type of store-bought dressing, try making your own lime and olive oil dressing. You can also just add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to elevate your salad instantly.
You’re Using Bacon Bits
Bacon bits are more processed, more sodium-dense and more calorically rich than freshly made bacon. One tablespoon of bacon bits can add 50 calories to your salad. Just when you think it can’t get any worse – it does. The same amount contains 500 milligrams of sodium. The recommended daily intake of sodium is 2300 milligrams or less, which is about 1 teaspoon of salt. Bacon bits are also packed with trans-fat, which are notorious for causing weight gain, obesity, type-2 diabetes and heart disease.
You’re Being Too Generous with the Cheese
A few bits of feta cheese can add a bit of creamy bite to your bowl of crunchy greens. It’s also an excellent way to add some protein to it. However, add too much and you may be adding more than 200 calories to your salad.
To elevate your salad’s flavor without packing on cheese, a great tip is to add some strong cheese. Although they’re slightly higher in fat, stronger cheeses such as blue cheese and goat cheese will pack a greater flavor punch, compared to mozzarella, for example. This means you’ll need much less to feel satisfied.
You’re Going Overboard with Dried Fruit
Dried fruit may seem great for adding texture and some fiber to a salad, but in most cases, it just acts as candy. Just one quarter cup of dried cranberries, which can be equal to a handful, contains as much as 29 grams of sugar! Moreover, the sweetness isn’t naturally coming from the fruit. Most dried fruit contain added sugar. One cup of fresh cranberries naturally contains only 4 grams of sugar.
If you’re looking to add some sweetness to your bowl, cut out dried fruit completely and add sliced fresh fruit, such as sliced blood oranges, strawberries or apples.
You Add Croutons for Crunch
Croutons have nothing nutritionally positive about them. They are crunchy and delicious but offer no minerals, vitamins or fiber. Croutons are simply empty calories that are ruining your glorious veggie bowl. Just 6 cubes of croutons contain 75 milligrams of sodium and roughly 30 calories – and nobody has six!
If you’re looking to add some crunch and flavor to your salad, try adding some flaked almonds, sunflower seeds or grilled tofu.
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