Salads may start off healthy, but fat and calories from toppings and dressings can easily add up. The typical Chinese chicken salad contains the calories and fat of a Quarter Pounder with medium fries. Even though the add-ins, like nuts and avocado, are healthy in moderation, that doesn't mean they won't hurt your waistline just as much as junk food. Save nuts for snacktime, not mealtime.
The heart-healthy half-avocado on your salad has as many calories as a bag of Cheetos Puffs. Ask yourself if you can afford it as a healthy add-in.
Just a 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds on your salad can add the calories of a slice of pepperoni pizza.
Half a cup of marinated sun-dried tomatoes is calorically equivalent to three Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies.
The Truth about Salad Dressing
Large salads often contain about two small ladles of dressing. That really adds up.
Believe it or not, two small ladles of ranch contain 600 calories and a whopping 62 grams of fat! Two ladles of Thousand Island dressing can contain 340 calories and 33 grams of fat. Calorically, you might as well order a McDonald's Big Mac.
If you thought you were safe with Italian dressing, think again. Two ladles contain enough fat and calories to fill in for a slice of pecan pie. Even balsamic vinaigrette can go horribly wrong. With all that oil, it can add 360 calories and 32 grams of fat to your salad - the same as an entire fried chicken breast.
If you order dressing on the side, you can control how much you put on your salad. You can also water it down with lemon juice or vinegar.
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