Salad Shocker: Do You Think All Salads Are Healthy?

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September 27, 2007 | 177,976 views

Salad may seem an obvious meal choice when you’re watching your weight. But is it really? This AOL survey of some popular restaurant salads may make you think twice about what you order.

Some of the worst offenders include:

Dairy Queen’s Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
680 calories48 grams fat
Chili’s Southwestern Cobb Salad
970 calories
Pizzeria Uno’s Chicken Waldorf Salad
920 calories62 grams fat
Arby’s Santa Fe Salad
844 calories55 grams fat

AOL Body

Although fast food restaurants have made an effort to offer healthier fares over the past couple of years, prepackaged salads are still not your best option. With the additions of fried tortilla chips, fried chicken, and commercial dressings, you can easily end up with a less than ideal meal.  

This does NOT mean, however, that a salad is a worse option than a burger and fries, as they implied in this article. It’s mainly a matter of avoiding  the unhealthy toppings.

The absolute best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to take control of your meals by preparing them at home. If you want to get or stay healthy, learning to prepare your own food is one of the best prescriptions out there. Exchanging convenience for your health is a very lopsided "bargain."

Remember that if you want to start to Take Control of Your Health, someone in your family or someone that you employ is going to have to spend some time in the kitchen, freshly preparing unprocessed whole foods for you and your family.

If you're thinking that you truly don't have the time to do this, don't miss my past article, Six Easy Ways to Get Better Nutrition Even if You Don't Have the Time.

But, if you do order restaurant salads, keeping these few tips in mind can help you make your meal as healthy as possible:

Going back to salads prepared at home for a moment, other benefits of doing this is that, not only can you make sure your produce is both fresh and organically grown, but you also have greater control over the type of vegetables included, as some vegetables are better for you than others, based on your nutritional type.

Little compares to the nutritional value of organic, raw, vegetables according to your biochemical composition. In addition to the B-vitamin folic acid, fresh vegetables have numerous other nutrients that will promote health and prevent diseases, especially neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's. And, the many antioxidants and phytochemicals in vegetables will help keep your mind sharp.

If you are a strong protein type (like me), then you may find you don’t need as many vegetables. Perhaps as little as half a pound to a pound a day would be sufficient for the typical protein-type adult. Your vegetables would also be oriented more toward lower potassium varieties, like spinach, avocados, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, celery, and cauliflower.

Regular lettuces and typically "wonderful" vegetables like collard greens, kale, and Swiss chard, are far too high in potassium for protein types and will tend to cause biochemical imbalances.

A carb type, on the other hand, may benefit from consuming far more vegetables, and the best varieties would include the collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, and so on, which were not ideal for protein types.

Please note that while I recommend organic vegetables for the most nutritional benefits, if you can’t find or afford them, don’t use this as an excuse to not eat any vegetables. Eating any vegetables, whether they are organic or not, is much better than not eating any vegetables at all.