Are All Salads Healthy?

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By Rachel Firmin
    Unfortunately, by using the word salad, many people are tricked into thinking that it is always a healthy choice, but that isn’t the case. Did you know that many restaurants salads can range from 500-1200 calories?! Most of the time, this high-caloric number is from the added full-fat cheese and meat or the abundance of salad dressing. So, next time, instead of going out to eat, try to make your favorite restaurant salad at home! I’ve included a few to get you started, and the taste is the same, but the way you feel after eating these lightened up salads are better! 
    1. For a Mexican Salad: Chop up 2 cups of spinach and shred 3 oz. baked boneless skinless chicken breast on top.  Sprinkle on ¼ cup reduced-fat Colby jack shredded cheese atop the chicken along with 3-5 crunched up tortilla chips. If desired, sprinkle on 1/8 cup pinto beans, a slice of red onion that has been chopped up and ¼ of an avocado, diced. Dress the salad with 2-3 Tbsp. salsa and 1-2 Tbsp. nonfat Greek yogurt. With all of this, your salad is only 370 calories! Typically a Mexican Salad from a restaurant contains an average of 950 calories, so you saved 580 calories and a nice amount of money by making it at home. 
    2. For a Cobb Salad: Although this salad is one of the most well-known “American Salads” many times, the serving sizes are so out of hand that it is hard to order without wondering how much you should eat. When making at home, Start with 2 cups chopped, mixed greens such as romaine lettuce, spinach and iceberg, if desired. Then top with ½ of a boiled egg, chopped, ¼ cup shredded reduced fat Colby jack cheese, 1 slice of bacon, crumbled, 1/8 cup Roquefort cheese, if desires, ¼ of an avocado and 2 oz. shredded baked boneless skinless chicken breast. For the dressing, make your own honey mustard sauce! Start with 3 Tbsp. nonfat Greek Yogurt, mix in 1 tsp. of spicy brown mustard, 1 tsp. of regular mustard and 2 tsp. honey. This entire salad is only 490 calories compared to a typical Cobb salad of 1,115 calories, so you’re saving 625 calories and still enjoying an All-American meal! 
    I hope that these give you a few ideas and you can get creative re-making your own favorite salads at home! Just remember to keep portion sizes in check and you’ll get a healthy dose of vegetables in! 

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