Salad Bar Survival Skills

saladSalad bars: they are deceptive. Take a look at your average salad bar – it’s got to be good for you, right? Right??? Well, not really. While there are healthy options on the bar, there are also a lot of dangerous traps you could fall into that make your salad not much better than a bacon cheeseburger. Here are some strategies for to help you avoid salad bar snares!

It’s the Size of the Plate

When you go to a salad bar choose the smaller container or the smaller plate. If you’re in a restaurant and have unlimited salad bar visits, make sure that you put a cap on the number of trips you make.

Go for the Greens

The dark, leafy greens, that is. Most salad bars will present you with a choice of iceberg lettuce, romaine and maybe even spinach. It’s always a good rule of thumb to go with the darkest greens available. These will pack the most nutritional punch and fill you up!

Reach for the Veggies

Ok, so you could go for the potato salad or pasta salad that is available on most salad bars, but what you need to do is fill your plate full of fresh veggies. Go for the cucumbers, peppers, broccoli and tomatoes on the bar and stay away from the bacon and other high fat and high calorie items.

The Power of Protein

Many salad bars have great options for protein that include eggs, turkey, garbanzo beans, lean meats and even crab meat. You should add some to your salad to help you stay fuller, longer.

A Small Taste

Look, you don’t have to deprive yourself of everything you want. If you want a small taste of that macaroni salad then have at it! Just make sure you limit the “creamy” things on the salad bar or you may as well be having that bacon cheeseburger.

The Crunch

There are so many options to top your salad off with that includes things like croutons, chow mein noodles, crackers, nuts and seeds. These are ok to add but make sure you pay attention to how much you are actually adding. And go light on the cheese too.

Dressing it Up

This is where most people undoubtedly add the most calories to their salads – with the dressing. You may be surprised at how much fat and how many calories your favorite dressing has per serving. For most salad dressings 2 tablespoons is s serving – is that really how much you add to your salad? Instead of reaching for creamy toppings try oil and vinegar or just a tablespoon of your favorite creamy dressing.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Yvonne Brettnich

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.