What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "diet"? Salads, of course! What was probably first created to be a clean serving of fresh veggies with a little sauce for flavor has been transformed at many restaurants into a caloric nightmare. While dining out with the contestants, one of them tried to order a salad that weighed in at 1,500 calories, which is more than a cheeseburger, medium fries and a medium cola COMBINED! She turned white - absolutely mortified.
How is this possible? Well, there are sneaky ingredients that despite being healthy are high in calories and easily hide between those leafy greens. For example, walnuts are rich in omega-3s and super healthy, but only up to the point where you are gaining weight from them (see chart below). I'm not saying you have to give it all up, but arming yourself with knowledge can save you some serious calories. If you're craving bleu cheese, ask for some on the side and lightly sprinkle on your salad for a splash of flavor.
|Typical Salad Add-ons||Typical Amount in Large Salads||Calories||Caloric Equivalent|
|Bleu cheese||1/2 cup||240||1 bag of M&Ms|
|Whole wheat croutons||1/4 cup||200||2 slices of buttered bread|
|Sunflower seeds||1/4 cup||210||1 slice of pizza|
|Crispy noodles||1 ounce||140||Snack bag of potato chips|
|Walnuts||1/4 cup||196||Glazed donut|