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Salad Bar Survival Skills

By Sara Butler

Salad bars call to you like an oasis in the desert. In this case, they seem as if they’re the healthy choice in a sea of unhealthy ones – but are they? Salad bars can be difficult to navigate. Still, if you know what you’re doing, then healthy choices can be made. Here’s what you need to know in order to survive your salad bar experience!

Use a Small Plate

If the salad bar is all-you-can-eat, then make sure to use a smaller plate. This will help you to limit how much you’re having at once. Taking your time and eating slowly will help you to recognize when you’re full, helped by eating smaller amounts.

Create a Healthy Base

Go for the dark green vegetables as a base for your salad instead of the pale iceberg lettuce most people use. Romaine lettuce, spinach, and endive are great greens that will set you up for success going forward with your salad experience!

Veg It Up!

You should fill your plate with fresh vegetables next. Pile on the cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and peppers. These items will fill you up and are low in calories, so don’t be afraid to go for the vegetable gusto.

You should avoid the high-fat items on the salad bar such as potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, and pasta salad. The dressings on these are definitely some of the unhealthiest things on the salad bar.

Power Up With Protein

Protein will fill you up and help you to feel satisfied at the end of the meal, so make sure to add good protein to your salad in the form of lean meats such as turkey. You can also add beans and legumes to add a punch of protein.

Take It Easy

When it comes to extras such as croutons, crackers, nuts, bacon, cheese, and chow mein noodles, make sure to take it easy. Loading up on these extras can take your salad from healthy to no better than a burger and fries in no time.

Another area that can be a salad bar landmine is the salad dressing. Limit the amount of salad dressing you use and be aware that fat-free or reduced-calorie dressings don’t mean you can go crazy with the dressing. Salad dressings are notoriously full of fat and calories – even the fat-free type is loaded with sugar. So go for just a bit or explore healthier options such as oil and vinegar or vinaigrettes.

Salad bar survival is in your hands -- make good choices for your health! 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monroe, La.


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