It has become a lot convenient to just order a salad sitting at your home or workplace, thinking that it would be a healthier and safer option. But have you ever compared the calories a salad has when you go to a restaurant? You must do. When you think the salad is giving you fiber, protein, veggies with no or less fat, it is actually giving you a lot of calories and fat.
An expensive salad from any food chain or restaurant can have up to 800 calories, 10 to 80 grams of fat and just a lot of sodium and sugar. There’s a lot going on, on that plate. With all the chicken, paneer or tofu, fancy ingredients like avocado, kale, blueberries, raspberries, feta cheese, bacon, the salad can go really overboard with the calories.
We can say that the ingredients which go into any of the fast-food (like burgers, pizza) all can be put on a plate and served to you, apart from the bread, with the same amount of calories and fat. A lot of calories can be put through dressings wrapped in lettuce leaves and other fancy ingredients. Like the caesar salad and coleslaw are loaded with fat-full dressings and high protein. Not to forget the sauces like barbeque, mayonnaise, chili-onion, etc. which attract the taste buds but are actually very greasy and heavy.
Why not make your own:
It does not take much of an effort to make a grocery list of your favourite ingredients to throw into the salad. Go all the way creative and put the seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, the right amount of protein and fat. If you buy ingredients from the local market they are guaranteed fresh with all the nutrients intact. Put all the greens on your plate first, add some fiber via lentils or legumes, protein can come through paneer, nuts like walnuts and pistachio, and then experiment with the seasoning. To substitute oil for dressing, tahini, vinegar, lemon juice, hung curd or any hummus can be added too. You can even sprinkle some sesame seeds and peanuts for extra crunch and protien.
It is not a shocker that salads have gained the hype but they are not always worth the hype. A salad can be really attractive to see and a lot comforting to just order it. But with the ingredients that goes into it, it is not rocket science to make it at home. It may not be convenient but it is definitely money and calorie-saving.