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Healthy Salad ChoicesMillions of Americans choose salads when ordering out thinking they are making the best decision. Salads can be healthy choice, when they are full of garden-fresh veggies and just a drizzle of vinegar and oil on top. Now, though, a salad can be the worst item on the menu to choose if you are trying to achieve weight loss success, by watching your calorie intake. Portion sizes are huge and toppings trend toward fatty and high calorie. So, how can you make a healthy choice when ordering a salad? Here are some things to keep in mind when ordering and tips on how to make a healthy salad at home.

Green Means Lean

When it comes to healthy salads for weight loss, you can’t go wrong with green selections. Try different types of lettuces – romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, kale – and mix them together to create a delicious base for your salad. Next, top with any green topping you can find – broccoli, peas, green peppers, scallions, asparagus, cucumbers, zucchini.

Skip Fatty Toppings

It’s so easy to get off track when it comes time for the toppings. Avoid items like, cheese, croutons, pasta, sour cream, friend noodles, tortilla strips. Even on top of a salad, these items can pack a wallop of calories and added fat. Be careful of toppings like nuts, dried fruit, avocado and olives. Although these items may provide health benefits, they, too, can add unnecessary calories.

Pick the Right Protein

Adding protein to your salad can complete your meal and leave you feeling satisfied longer. Make sure to choose lean protein choices such as chicken, salmon, broiled shrimp or beans. Avoid anything fried, sautéed or breaded.

Dress Your Salad for Success

Now that you have the right salad in front of you, don’t derail your efforts by choosing the wrong dressing. Generally speaking, you should stay away from any white dressings like ranch, Caesar  and creamy dressings. Another good tip: keep the dressing on the side, even at home. Before each salad bite, dip your fork in the dressing. This method will provide all the flavor you need, and keep you from drenching your salad with extra fat and calories. If you still need an extra kick, try sprinkling your salad with sodium-free seasoning.

When ordering or creating your salad for weight loss, think about rainbows. Pack your salad with as many fresh, seasonal veggies as you can and keep our tips in mind. Blue Sky MD has many more calorie saving ideas as part of  our weight control program.  Our counselors will help you learn how to make the right decisions to continue to be successful on your journey.