A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Try these calorie-cutting salad swaps

Salad sounds like an easy diet hack if you’re trying to lose weight or eat better.

You may be surprised how many calories are lurking in your favorite toppings, though. Instead of sabotaging your salad with high-calorie ingredients, try some healthful salad swaps recommended by Marshfield Clinic registered dietitian Ashley Short.

Calorie culprits

Breaded meats, bacon, shredded cheese, croutons and creamy dressings are some of the most common culprits that pile calories on an otherwise-healthy bowl of greens.

Oversized portions also can take your salad from diet-friendly to frightening.

“At restaurants, look at the nutrition information if it’s available,” Short said. “Split a large salad, get a half portion or ask for a to-go box right away and portion half of it to bring home for later.”

Order dressing on the side and dip your fork in it before spearing your veggies.

Measure ingredients when you make salads at home so you don’t overload your plate with an unexpected number of calories, even from healthful ingredients like unsalted nuts. Just 1 ounce of nuts is about 160 calories, Short said.

Satisfying salad swaps

Whether you’re packing a lunch or ordering a salad at the deli, small adjustments can save hundreds of calories and add nutrients without sacrificing flavor. Next time greens are on the menu, try these swaps for a better salad.

Related Shine365 posts:

Cranberry spinach salad (recipe)

Counting calories? There’s an app for that

Burrito bowl mason jar salads (recipe)

Tangy dressing (recipe)

Salad Swaps Chart

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