If you’re like me, you are always scanning restaurant menus for dishes that sound tasty, but won’t leave you feeling like your diet went down the drain. What do most people think of when they think healthy? SALAD! Of course, lettuce, tomatoes, and all the veggies you can imagine are always major components of a salad. The only problem is, most salads served in restaurants or fast food establishments are far worse than having the darn hamburger and fries! Just check out this list of best and worst restaurant salads!
Now, after reading countless books, health magazines, and online articles, I’ve compiled some tips/ideas on how to order the healthiest salad possible, while still feeling satisfied with your meal. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t stick to my diet 365 days a year, but I also don’t feel the need to pack in 2,000 calories in one meal at a restaurant (and if I was, it sure as heck wouldn’t be a salad!).
Here’s some advice on how to order the healthiest salad possible.
– Order low-fat or low-calorie dressings (MOST places have some form of these), if not…go for a vinegar based dressing. Olive oil and vinegar is also always a perfect option.
-Ask for your dressing on the side and dip the lettuce as you go, or drizzle a bit over top of the salad to get the flavor of it. You’ll be surprised at how little you actually need. Focus on the flavors and textures of the ingredients in the salad.
– Go for grilled meats instead of fried or breaded (grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, etc)
– Select the salad with darker greens, such as romaine, arugula, or spinach, instead of iceberg. The darker, leafy greens have more Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber.
– If you’re concerned whether you’ll be full from having a salad as a main course, order a side of veggies instead of picking at the food off the plate of the others at the table or the bread basket. Be sure the veggies aren’t doused in butter and/or cheese!
– If the salad comes with crispy fried noodles, croutons, bacon, or tortilla strips, etc, ask them to leave them out. If you think you’re strong enough to push them aside and not eat them GOD BLESS YOU…I can’t. I prefer to not have the items on my plate at all. Out of sight out of mind!
I know that the salads described “as-is” on the menu sound delicious, but you’d be surprised how crisp and satisfying the salads taste without them as well. Give these tips a try. I have never been disappointed by using the above recommendations. The flavor of dressing comes through, instead of the lettuce swimming in it, you get the essential serving of protein from the lean meat, and won’t even remember the toppings you’re missing because you never tasted them! Salads can be horrible for you, or nutritious for you. There are many ways to cut calories and fat while not compromising the taste of the dish.
What tips do you tend to follow when you go out to eat at restaurants?
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