Is Salad Really the Best Choice When Dining Out?

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Hmmm. You ordered the Steak Salad for dinner when you went out last night? You assumed it was a healthier choice because its salad, right? Seared sirloin atop mixed greens, tomatoes, red onions, pecans and a Blue Cheese vinaigrette with a blue cheese crumble. Sounds healthy…but is it?

Well, think again. If you are a man trying to lose weight, this salad is 60% of your calorie needs for the whole day contributing 914 calories, the fat content of the salad is 63 grams, 21 grams more than your total daily needs, the 1543 mg sodium content of the one salad is what you can have in an entire day and the saturated fat of 18 grams is more than you should have in the entire day. There are 5 teaspoons of added sugar too. And really, the fiber contribution is only 5 grams, not much considering a man should have 38 grams in a day.

Your beverage choice matters too. A Cadillac Margarita has 500 calories and 53 grams of sugar. A pint of beer has around 220. The best choice is a glass of wine; a 4 ounce pour is about 125 calories.

Order This: Grilled Salmon, no sauce; no mashed potatoes and extra veggies, no butter.

One of the best choices you can make at a restaurant is to order plain grilled fish or chicken and vegetables. If the entree comes with potatoes ask if they can substitute more vegetables for the potatoes. In this example, grilled salmon and a double portion of asparagus would have 595 calories, 27.2 grams of fat mostly from heart healthy fat, >1,500 milligrams of Omega 3 fats, only 7.6 grams of saturated fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 1010 mg of sodium.

Try making salads at home with lots of snazzy toppings and use “healthier” salad dressings found here.

Data based on Outback Restaurant items and a man’s nutritional needs for weight loss: 1500 calories.

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