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When Salads Sabotage Your Diet

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Aug 25, 2010


When dining out, salads are the go-to menu option for those trying to lose weight. You think that fresh veggies are healthier and contain less calories than the other carby menu items. But sometimes, a salad is just as bad as anything else on the menu and here's why.

On a recent "Eat This, Not That!" segment on the "Today Show," Editor in Chief of Men's Health, David Zinczenko, showed us that many salads at popular chain restaurants are loaded in calories, fat and sodium, which could wreck anyone's weight loss plan.

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad
1310 calories, 93 g fat, 1470 mg sodium
With not-so-great-for-you fried chicken, this salad has the same calories as a McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder, fries and a coke.

Wendy's BLT Cobb Salad and Ranch Dressing w/ croutons

760 calories, 51g fat, 2090 mg sodium
This salad is just as bad for you as 2 bacon cheeseburgers from Wendy's.

Quizno's Chicken Caesar Flatbread Salad
920 calories, 66 g fat, 2090 mg sodium
With more sodium than you need in a day (max is 2000 mg), this seemingly innocent salad is the equivalent of 3 White Castle bacon and cheese sliders plus 3 fried chicken rings!

TGI Friday's Santa Fe Chopped Salad
1800 calories
Need we say more? This meal contains as many calories as a Burger King Double Whopper, fries and chocolate shake.

California Pizza Kitchen Waldorf Chicken Salad w/ bleu cheese dressing
1570 calories, 30 g fat, 2082 mg sodium
This delicious and healthy-looking salad is just as fattening as a Wendy's 1/2 lb double cheeseburger, fries and medium frostie.

You can still dine out and even order a salad every now and then, just follow the tips below for guidance.

Fattening ingredients to avoid
Fried ingredients, tortilla chips, creamy dressing, cheese

Diet tricks
*Sometimes the portions are out of control. Just eat 1/3 of the meal once you've eaten enough healthy calories and take leftovers home.
*Ask for your dressing on side, then drizzle a small amount as needed.
*Choose oil and/or vinegar-based dressings. One tsp. of balsamic vinegar (not vinaigrette) can contain as little as 5 calories!

Source: "Today Show," msnbc.com

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