By Lucy Allarie-Gosselin, Berkshire Program Director
Dining out? If the goal is to eat healthy and you’re thinking of having the salad bar rather than ordering from the menu, first check what’s offered at the salad bar. Unless you make careful choices, you could end up with a plateful of calories.
For tasty, yet healthy salad options, look for the following:
Plentiful fresh greens – lettuce or fresh spinach is generally the foundation of a healthy salad.
Fresh fruits and vegetables – pile on a colorful array, such as tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, beets, radishes, bell peppers, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, and strawberries.
Healthy dressings – look for fat-free or low-fat, low-calorie dressings.
Flavored vinegar like balsamic, red wine and others, mixed with a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil is another option, as well as herbs and peppers or other available seasonings. Take your dressing on the side, dipping your fork into the dressing, then into the salad, to limit how much
Lean protein and fiber – chickpeas, red beans, black beans, and peas help you to feel full. When it comes to the high-fat ingredients such as cheese, chopped eggs, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, buttery croutons, pasta and potato salads, take a very small amount or avoid them altogether.