Why Salads are not as Healthy as we Thought



  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,455 Member
  • sherbear702
    sherbear702 Posts: 649 Member
    I thought this was already common knowledge...
  • DKG28
    DKG28 Posts: 299 Member
    Your salad sounds yummy and nutritious, just too large. Don't eliminate it. Like you pointed out-3.5 servings of chicken. Use one instead. Olives are high in calories,but also high in flavor-use a few. Cup them up so you get the taste in more bites. Choose either feta or bacon bits. With salads you have to ration the higher cal ingredients. You can easily cut out 100 or 200 cals out of your salad and still enjoy it and have like 80-90% of all the stuff you really love to put in it.
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,551 Member
    ashypashy7 wrote: »
    Salad is a great way to fill up on veggies. It only becomes "bad" when you add too much toppings like bacon and cheese. You can still have your salad as a treat or scale it back to give you less calories.

    why are bacon and cheese "bad"??
  • hsmith0930
    hsmith0930 Posts: 160 Member
    Tee Hee, I read this as I ate a 200-something calorie salad for lunch. And it was only that small because I know I'm going out tonight and I'm saving calories for breaded, fried, pepperjack cheeseballs and rum and diet coke. LOL
  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,490 Member
    edited March 2015
    Maybe i'm crazy, but i would much rather eat something hot for dinner than an 800 calorie salad.

    I also like to add stuff to my salads but usually they end up being between 5-600 calories and really filling. And i'll be darned if i eat a salad at dinner time when i could be eating something hot *_*

    I eat salads because they are tasty, not because of any preconceived idea of their "healthiness" though...
  • barbecuesauce
    barbecuesauce Posts: 1,779 Member
    patceoh wrote: »
    Someone posted they use salsa on any salad,because they like it better than salad dressings. I prefer rice vinegar,lots of seasoning,small amout of oil .Heavy on the veggies & it's good to go.

    That might have been me! Because I would rather have more chicken and cheese on my salads.

    I've tried the vinegar thing and maybe I needed a higher-quality vinegar/more oil for it because it was not good to my tastebuds.
  • scottacular
    scottacular Posts: 597 Member
    Someone has a problem with calorie laden salads so assumes everyone else is eating calorie laden salads too and must warn them? It's only a matter of time before someone realises flavoured water has calories in it so assumes all water is higher in calories and must tell the world to stop. Honestly, give it time.
  • JenD1066
    JenD1066 Posts: 298 Member
    What's with the "we" crap, kemosabe? I eat enormous salads every freakin' day, and they are exactly as healthy as I require. The difference is the base of my salads is GREENS. Yes, you can fill a bowl with croutons, top it with chicken and velveeta, cover it in ranch dressing and call it a salad. This does not alter the nutritional value of produce.
  • RunTimer
    RunTimer Posts: 9,137 Member
    JenD1066 wrote: »
    What's with the "we" crap, kemosabe? I eat enormous salads every freakin' day, and they are exactly as healthy as I require. The difference is the base of my salads is GREENS. Yes, you can fill a bowl with croutons, top it with chicken and velveeta, cover it in ranch dressing and call it a salad. This does not alter the nutritional value of produce.

    you left out the sprinkles :)
  • Mr_Knight
    Mr_Knight Posts: 9,532 Member
    gsw615 wrote: »
    ...although I did realize I was eating 3.5 servings of chicken...

    I'm sorry, but anything with 3.5 servings of chicken in it no longer qualifies as a "salad".

  • jazzine1
    jazzine1 Posts: 280 Member
    edited March 2015
    RavenLibra wrote: »
    The issue here isn't one of health... it is about properly defining what a salad IS... once that's established. it becomes a question of portion control...THE OP's assertion that "WE" think salads are healthy... anything digestible can be deemed "healthy" as long as it is NOT poisonous OR causes an allergic reaction to the majority of the consuming public.

    is a garden side salad a healthy choice if the dressing has peanut oil on it and it's given to a person WITH a nut allergy? okay,,, take away the offending dressing... and sub a more appropriate dressing... is it healthy now??? what if... that person NOW eats so much he feels the need to purge? was the salad healthy? OR did the person simply engage in an unhealthy behavior?

    there is ABSOLUTELY nothing unhealthy about a salad in general terms... what is unhealthy would be the OP's choice to place the blame for his lack of impulse control on a food dish.

    ^^^^ Nicely put.
  • urloved33
    urloved33 Posts: 3,325 Member
    gsw615 wrote: »
    One of the best features of MFP is that it lets you analyze your caloric intake in a very methodical manner. You can easily see areas where you're doing well and ones where you are not. To be sure, it'll take a little practice to be able to identify these but once you do the power of MFP increases exponentially.

    One of the first things I realized was that I was consuming too many calories at dinner. My entrée of choice was a home-made Greek salad upon which I added grilled chicken. Sounds like a healthy choice yet the total calories were often close to, or above 800. That's kind of like sabotaging a whole day of good behavior in one fell swoop. But it wasn't until MFP "forced" me to itemize my meals that I began to identify the problem. And once I did, I realized that the problem is more endemic. The problem is with salads, in general.

    Most of us have been conditioned, since an early age, to accept the fact that a salad is one of the most nutritious and diet-friendly meal you can eat. And it can be. But I propose that it rarely is. And I'm not necessarily referring to the egregious pseudo-salads at places like Chili's - you know the ones: the quesadilla explosion salad or the Buffalo Chicken Salad. I think we all know that these are just gargantuan meals posing as salads for those of us in a perpetual state of denial. What I'm really referring to is the health-conscious entrée salad, like my daily Greek salad with grilled chicken.

    The problem is that after counting the calories from all the various ingredients (Kalamata olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, dressing, chicken, bacon? yes!, et al) it becomes a case of "death by a 1000 cuts." No single ingredient is the culprit (although I did realize I was eating 3.5 servings of chicken), when taken in aggregate this "healthy dinner option" was clocking in at nearly 800 calories!

    While I'm grateful to MFP for opening my eyes to this "nutritional tragedy", I am also saddened to have to retire my beloved dinner staple. Now, don't get me wrong, I still plan on eating lots of salad, but I will have to do so with fewer ingredients, and primarily as a side dish.
    So the moral of the story is that salads CAN be healthy. But watch out as you start adding more and more ingredients and toppings. Individually those may be acceptable choices, but taken as a whole it can turn into a caloric behemoth.

    You did a great job from beginning to end. It has to be read in its entirety to be appreciated. Simply put...nice post. (o is the word "nice" ok to use?)

  • racingislife97
    racingislife97 Posts: 40 Member
    The OP didn't write a paper suitable for publication in Scientific American, big deal. He used his Greek Salad as an example of an importance to look at the sum of the parts, which can be applied to many things. He used his Greek Salad as an example of something that any reader might take for granted in their own menu as being "low calorie" or "healthy" to make the point that it might be worth looking at.

    Perhaps the intended audience was the newish people who may not already know everything and he hoped that the people who know everything would either expand on the topic in a constructive manner, or just STFU.

    Or, perhaps, he was bored, and just wanted to see how many points he could earn in the "MFP forums drinking game".
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
    Ninkyou wrote: »
    The message I got from OP's post is "I put too much of everything on my salad and now it's not low calorie"

    That makes two of us. OK, I'm pretty sure that makes I-haven't-counted-how-many-repliers-there-are of us.
  • carolynmo1969
    carolynmo1969 Posts: 120 Member
    I had a bag of "healthier" tortilla chips in my cart at Costco yesterday. Made from quinoa and chia, yummy, couldn't wait to get home and have some with hummus. In the line, I read the label. 280 calories for 12 chips. 12 chips. 12. Chips. I left them in the store. OP's point and mine is that there is a lot of stuff that is packaged pretty and has all the correct buzz words that at a quick glance might make people think we are making a better choice, when in fact, a good old read of the label or nutrition info provided says it all.
  • Chrysalid2014
    Chrysalid2014 Posts: 1,038 Member
    Olives packed in brine are a good substitute for the ones packed in olive oil... same flavour and around half the calories. Ten olives for 42 cal can really liven up a salad.
  • slickmickey
    slickmickey Posts: 113 Member
    I love my salads, but that being said i'm a picky eater and dont eat ANY dressing nor many cheeses one would think to put on a salad. i like the 50/50 spinach spring mix, with some low sugar craisons, carrots, "confetti slaw" mix, almonds, mandarin orange slices (you can get them in single serving cups with water, no syrup for like 50cal) and some wonton strips. add some chicken to that and i've got a good size salad for about 450cal.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
    lcooper327 wrote: »
    Totally dependent on what you add to it. I like salad. And it has a lot of volume which makes it filling if you do it right.

    Also, you're just saying YOUR salad isn't as "healthy" as YOU thought. And you're equating healthy with low calorie.


    Plus 800 calories isn't a whole lot for dinner to many people. Or its a completely legit and filling dinner for others. If i didn't add some olives or cheese or chicken to my salads they'd be super lo cal and not a big deal at all.
  • jessilee119
    jessilee119 Posts: 444 Member
    urloved33 wrote: »
    I was the same way...before MFP I would be eating things that I percieved as "the healthiest meals I could eat" until I saw the calorie breakdown and then tumblr_m45buqHaZR1qjbyl8o1_5001.gif

    Great gif! I feel the same way. I'm able to control my salads pretty well, but for me the real eye opener was my coffee. By the time I added my cream and sugar it was almost as many calories as my breakfast. I was like :o:(

    As others said, that's the great thing about this site. Once I saw it then I was able to change it. I still have room for improvements but I'm getting there.