Salad should be a healthy-eating no-brainer, but all too often, ordering a plate of mesclun at a restaurant results in a plateful of lettuce drowning in creamy dressings, full-fat cheeses, and high-calorie croutons. Here are six sneaky salad abominations and their skinny (yet still satisfying) counterparts.
1) Ridiculous: Chicken Caesar Salad
This menu staple is known for its ultra-heavy dressing, hefty serving of cheese, and signature crunchy croutons. Dig into this salad and you could down 750 calories, 50 g of fat, and more sodium than a bag of potato chips.
Ridiculously Healthy: This version has all the familiar flavors of a classic Caesar, complete with juicy chicken breasts and a tangy, creamy dressing, but amounts to a fraction of the fat and calories.
2) Ridiculous: Shrimp Salad
A shrimp and spinach leaf salad sounds healthy enough, but some versions can be a calorie bomb in disguise. If the 1,010 calories and 69 g of fat don't scare you off, the 2,650 mg of sodium sure will.
Ridiculously Healthy: Our take on this summer seafood staple is low in fat, high in fiber, and a great source of vitamin A, folate, and potassium.
3) Ridiculous: Southwestern Chicken Salad
Some Santa-Fe-style salads are serious healthy-eating pitfalls. Not only does one restaurant version have more than half of your daily calories, it contains more than your daily recommended sodium intake and 93 g of fat in just one serving.
Ridiculously Healthy: Our Southwestern salad is filling and flavorful, not to mention low in fat. It's chock-full of fresh produce and proteins like chili-spiced chicken, black beans, and fresh corn, all for less than 300 calories.
4) Ridiculous: Steak Salad
Thanks to piles of red meat, mountains of blue cheese crumbles, and crunchy fried onions, a steak salad can really derail your diet. If you're not choosy, you could be consuming 850 calories and 64 g of fat per plateful.
Ridiculously Healthy: Not all steak salads put your diet at risk. This serving of lean beef atop a bed of leafy greens is not only a powerhouse protein, it's rich in iron too.
5) Ridiculous: Asian Chicken Salad
Beware of Asian chicken salads made with fried chicken, crunchy noodles, and sugary mandarin orange slices. Restaurant varieties can have more fat than six glazed donuts.
Ridiculously Healthy: This Asian-inspired salad features a lightened-up sweet and spicy dressing, made with a splash of orange juice and low-sodium soy sauce.
6) Ridiculous: Cobb Salad
This chopped chef's salad can come in supersized portions with heavy servings of bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and blue cheese dressing.
Ridiculously Healthy: This take on a classic dish uses low-fat turkey breasts as well as fresh slices of veggie-superstar avocado. Plus, this meal has less than 300 calories.
How do you keep your salads on the healthy side?
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