Salads are a great go-to meal. They’re easy to prepare, and they’re often tasty and nutritious. But, sometimes, salads are misunderstood. Today we evaluate five popular salad myths and learn what’s really true about them.
Myth #1: All lettuce is created equal.
Lettuce comes in 5 major types: leaf, romaine, crisphead, butterhead, and stem. Each of these types of lettuce has many variations within it.
The most popular types of lettuce today (I’m looking at you, iceberg!) have been modified to taste less bitter. Unfortunately, this means that you aren’t getting as many nutrients as possible when eating it. A good rule of thumb? Darker lettuce varieties have more nutrients.
However, some people can’t stand the taste of dark lettuce. Don’t let this make you ditch salad! Even mild lettuce varieties offer some nutrients. When paired with other vegetables, you’ll still be consuming necessary vitamins.
Myth #2: Salad isn’t filling.
If you think a salad is a bowl of grass with a sprinkle of dirt, you’ll definitely go hungry. However, a salad can be whatever you want it to be. We suggest eating salads that have carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Vegetables, fruit, cheese, meat, eggs, beans, dressing, and nuts are foods that pair well together to create a satisfying and tasty, meal.
Additionally, the fiber and high-water content of most salads will make you feel fuller for longer. If you want a salad but still can’t find ways to make them filling, consider pairing them with a quick carbohydrate source (like bread or a sandwich) that will satisfy your initial hunger pangs.
Myth #3: Salads are boring.
Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and Ranch dressing. Eat that every day, and you’ll quickly get bored. However, At Spoons, we like to get creative with our salad ingredients. We add nuts, cheese, meat (learn why we’re proud of our quality chicken), and countless vegetables to create tasty meals that won’t leave you hungry.
Here are a few ways to make your salads more interesting.
- Play with texture. Add walnuts or crackers for crunch. Berries add something chewy, and avocados bring smoothness.
- Make it sweet. Consider adding honey to your dressing, or throw in some apples for a bit of natural sugar.
- Switch up the dressing. This one seems obvious. However, a dressing change can make basic vegetables taste Thai-inspired, Italian, or whatever you like!
- Experiment with grains. Consider adding pasta, rice, crackers, or quinoa to your salad. They bring new textures and flavors — plus, you get rid of leftovers faster!
Myth #4: Salad dressing is good for you.
Salad dressing can certainly be great for you. They give a salad plenty of healthy fat. Plus, they often add the flavor that actually makes you want to eat a salad!
However, most store-bought salad dressings are full of sodium, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, and unhealthy fats. They also tend to be high in calories. The average person should not consume more than 12-16 grams of saturated fat a day, according to Harvard Dietician Kathy McManus.
McManus suggests limiting dressings to 120 calories, 200 mg of sodium, 2 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.
Myth #5: Salads are always a low-calorie choice.
Vegetables certainly won’t pack on the pounds. In fact, a 1 ½ cup of just vegetables is only 30 calories on average. However, an article showed that the average calorie count of salads from popular American restaurants was about 450 calories. Some salads have the same number of calories as a burger.
Indeed, dressing, proteins, and toppings make salads delicious and filling. But these additions can also tighten your waistline over time. Be mindful of what’s in your salad. Our website includes nutrition information for every meal so that you can make decisions that are best for your health. If you need, ask one of our team members to exclude ingredients from your meal.
At Spoons Soups, Salads and Sandwiches, our salads are made with thoughtful, fresh ingredients. Give one a try. You won’t be disappointed! Visit our menu to learn what we’re serving today.