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 May 5, 2005
Beware of the Salad Bar!
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Heather Greenbaum, R.D., nu-train

If you�re not careful, you can end up with as much as 1500 calories and 90 grams of fat! The salad bar is not a free for all. You need to be smart about your choices isolating the best options. Below is a list of some helpful tips:

  1. Avoid anything that is "white" and has the word �salad� attached to the name. This includes anything made with cream cheese, mayonnaise, or sour cream. This also includes any pre-made salads like tuna, chicken, pasta, or potato salad.
  2. Load up on low calorie, high fiber salad ingredients such as lettuce and spinach (the darker the lettuce the higher the nutrient content).
  3. Choose three plain, un-marinated items such as carrots, celery, green peppers, radishes, mushrooms, onions, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, and others.
  4. Only pick one starchy vegetable (corn, beans, peas, chickpeas, etc.). These vegetables are high in fiber; however they have 80 calories per half cup instead of 25 calories in a non-starchy vegetable.
  5. Limit quantity of salad dressings. They may range from 60 to 90 calories per tablespoon. Use 1T or a half a ladle for a regular dressing and use 2T or 1 ladle for a low fat dressing. To extend the small amount of dressing to the whole salad, add balsamic, white wine, rice, or plain vinegar. You can also use a wedge of a lemon if you prefer.
  6. Limit use of crunchy toppings ďż˝ such as sunflower seeds, croutons and bacon bits (high in fat and calories). If you are looking for a crunch in the salad, add 2 fiber-rich crackers and sprinkle on top.

Provided by Healther Greenbaum, a Registered Dietician (RD) specializing in the interrelation between eating habits, metabolism, and lifestyle. Visit nu-train for more tips and tricks and sign up for her monthly newsletter.

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