Salad bars are deceptively healthy. Though they are often the healthiest option at a restaurant, they can be loaded with unhealthy items. To really ensure you are eating healthy when you opt for the salad bar, here are some tips from our nutritional counselors:
Pick The Right Greens
Most salad bars offer a variety of lettuce options. A good rule of thumb is to pick the darkest leaf for the highest nutritional value. For example, if your salad bar has iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, or spinach, the best salad base is the spinach.
Load Up On Vegetables
Next make sure to pick a full variety of vegetables. Just like with greens, the darker the vegetable the more nutrients it contains. Look for options like beets, red or yellow peppers, and carrots. Go ahead and give yourself generous portions of these vegetables. They are super filling, low calorie, and full of the nutrition your body needs.
Add A Protein
Adding a lean protein to your salad will take it to the next level. Look for eggs, chicken, or peas. Be careful though as there are often unhealthy protein options on salad bars like chicken or tuna salad which can be full of sugars and unhealthy fats.
Choose Your Dressing Wisely
You could build the healthiest salad but if you smother it in the wrong dressing, you may as well eat off the regular menu. The best option for dressing is simple oil and vinegar. However, if you want something with a little more flavor, just avoid the creamy and fruity dressings.
Pick The Best Toppings
After you add your dressing, you’ll have some topping options. You can go ahead and add nuts and seeds, but you should avoid croutons, bacon bits, and crunchy noodles. These toppings don’t add any nutritional value.
Go Ahead And Grab Dessert
Some salad bars offer dessert options. You can have a little dessert with your salad as long as you are smart. Skip the chocolate pudding and trifle, but go ahead and load up on the healthy fruits, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt.
With a smart strategy, you can make sure that your trip to the salad bar is always the healthiest option. For more tips on how to eat out, talk to the nutritional counselors at Everlasting Changes. We can make sure that no matter where you go, you’ll be able to make smart choices.
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