Why Choosing a Salad May be Harming your Diet

It follows a certain logic that fast food is to be avoided like the plague during your diet. Tasty, quick, easy, but greasy, unhealthy, and chock full of calories, right? Right? Well, maybe not.
Going out and eating at a full service restaurant seems like a much healthier comparison to popping into the drive through at your local burger outlet, but in fact, the calorie counts may take you by surprise. Studies have estimated that a sit-down appetiser, main and one side, even if it is a salad based meal, can fill you up with an average 1,494 calories, barely less than three quarters of the recommended daily intake (2,000 calories for women).
They can also have horrifying amounts of saturated fats and salt in them.
The studies were carried out across the Atlantic in Philadelphia where restaurant chains of more than 15 outlets have to make their nutritional figures publicly available (so exact averages may be slightly different for here in the UK). Often blamed for expanding waistlines and obesity, McDonald’s nutrition figures show only 550 calories are in a Big Mac.
Many other examples were discovered of fast foods beating high quality restaurant meals in terms of calorie content.
But I’m not advocating fast foods as the solution to weight loss or a healthy diet. At the end of the day, none of it is very healthy. The true way to lose weight is simply to eat less, and exercise more, whilst maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.
A PHD student from Toronto University’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, Mary Scourboutakos is reported to advise: “watch out for non-vegetable ingredients such as croutons, bacon bits and cheese” when ordering a salad and to “ask for the dressing on the side” so you know and can control how much is put on. She added to aim for vegetable side dishes and miss out the appetiser and desert, if you are calorie counting and watching, or losing, weight.

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