I think sometimes we're fooled into a false sense of complacency if we see the word, "Salad" on a menu. We think, "Oh, it's a salad. It must be good for me. It can't have that many calories."
I'm here to tell you how completely untrue that is. My husband and I just got back from having lunch at Jason's Deli. They have several salads on their menu. Even without dressings the lowest calorie content of ANY of them is just about 600 calories. For a SALAD. What's the problem you ask? Let me tell you, and then you can be more informed about your salad choices.
First of all, dressings are notoriously high in calories. You wouldn't begin to believe how many calories and how much fat that ranch dressing has. If you really have to have dressing on a salad, get it on the side. Then stick your fork in for each bite. You'll be amazed at how much LESS dressing you use that way.
Secondly, croutons, nuts, sunflower seeds - basically anything crispy or crunchy. We all love to have these on our salads, but unfortunately they pile on the calories. Try to be sparing or ask for your salad without the croutons.
Third, unfortunately, most salads are piled HIGH with cheese. If you can put your own cheese on, try to go sparing. A cheese like feta is good for this because of its crumbles. Be careful about how much cheese you are consuming.
So what should you have on a salad? Load up on the veggies. Lettuces like spinach are best, because iceberg really has no nutritional value. Make sure you go sparing on the cheese and croutons. Get your dressing on the side. If you want meat on it, go for a lean meat like turkey, and be careful about portion size. If you follow these tips, your salad really will be healthy.