The Great Salad Lie

This guest post was written by Zalmi Duchman, CEO of The Fresh Diet, a Florida-based meal delivery company whose food is based on the 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 30% fats diet concept.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I’m trying to lose weight, I’ll just have a salad.” Now don’t get me wrong, salads can be a great method of weight loss – at least in theory.

A good salad can be packed with vegetables, beans and other legumes, lean meats and more. All great sources of nutrition and packed with vitamins.

We all know that vegetables are low in calories (except for starchy vegetables), high in fiber, and can be extremely filling – which is why salad has gotten the reputation as the king of the diet meals.

This is great, until you slather on the dressing.

So, let me ask you a question: Do you measure out your salad dressing, or just pour it on? If you are a pour-it-on person, you’re going to be in trouble. Most salad dressings, if you read the label, are portioned out by the tablespoon; usually with a serving being two tablespoons (note: two tablespoons are also equal to one ounce). Most dressings are also super high in fat. They’re either oil- or cream-based. Some creamy dressings have as many as 180 calories per two tablespoon serving.

So, if you are heavy handed with the dressing, you can easily take a low-fat veggie meal and have 80 percent (or more) of the calories come from fat.

Many people who are heavy handed don’t believe that they are. In fact, if you asked someone to pour out two tablespoons of dressing, my guess is they would be off by a mile.

Now, my point here isn’t necessarily that salad dressings, especially creamy dressings, are evil. Instead, the simple point of this article is balance and measure. If you are going to eat a salad, and you must have a creamy dressing, or any dressing at all, I have one word for you: measure!

At Crate and Barrel I found a great measuring tool – a shot glass, with measuring cup lines on it to calculate exactly how much dressing you want to put on your salad. Neat idea.

So if you are normally heavy handed with the dressing, you can now keep the balance in the meal.

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