10 Salad Mistakes That Causes Weight Gain
Filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber, salads brimming with fruits and vegetables are a dieters dream; but disguised in the colorful, beautiful and tempting displays at a salad bar and in the refrigerator are diet pit falls, hidden calories, empty calories, fat and sugar that sabotage the best intentions. One of the biggest diet misconceptions is that all salad ingredients are healthy, but many contain a lot of fat or raise blood sugar levels, which can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain.
• Too much of a good thing
o A serving size, based on height, weight, gender, age and level of activity is usually ½-cup of fruit slices juice or 1 small piece of fruit and ½ cup cooked vegetables or one cup of fresh vegetables. Not all serving sizes are created equal.
• Not enough of a good thing
o Whether vegan, vegetarian or a happy meat eater, proteins are essential to a healthy diet. Proteins perform critical roles in the body and promote weight loss. Nuts, nut butters, seeds, soy, and whey are good sources of non-meat protein.
• Avoiding all carbohydrates
o Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel and too few can lead to slumps in energy, binge eating and cause weight gain.
• Fat free dressing and marinades
o Sugar is added to low calorie and fat-free dressings to make up for taste, up to 9 grams of sugar per 2 tablespoons, which is equivalent to 6 teaspoons or 100 calories. The recommended daily allowance of sugar is 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
• Fried and over processed frenzy
o Croutons, sesame sticks, and crispy noodles contain a lot of salt and conceal unhealthy trans and saturated fats. Half a cup of crispy noodles or croutons adds over 100 calories to a salad.
• Top it off
o Toppings like candied nuts and raisins taste great but are loaded with sugar, a major cause of weight gain.
• Hold the mayo
o Potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw are usually made with mayonnaise, which contains few nutrients but approximately 57 calories per tablespoon.
• Say Cheese
o Cheese is a good source of protein and vitamins, but piling on not just one kind of cheese but multiple and copious quantities will cause weight gain. A half-cup of cheddar cheese, the most popular salad topping, contains 18 grams of fat and 225 calories.
• Back off on the over processed meats
o Bacon bits, salami, pepperoni, sausage, bologna and pastrami are overly processed meats and contain harmful preservatives like sodium nitrites as well as high doses of salt and bad fats.
• Starchy and sweet vegetables
o Corn, carrots, potatoes, peas and sweet potatoes contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but a lot of sugar compared to other vegetables and should be consumed in moderation.
• Iceberg lettuce
o Restaurants favor iceberg lettuce because it is less expensive that other varieties. It is not unhealthy, but void of nutrients.