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How To Order a Healthy Salad

Eating a salad is supposed to be good for you, but in many restaurants the salads can be among the least healthy items on the menu.


  • Step 1: Order a salad made with dark green lettuce like romaine, bibb, or green leaf. Spinach, cabbage, and microgreens are also good alternatives to iceberg lettuce.
  • Step 2: Order salads with grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, or beans. The lean protein will help make you feel full sooner.
  • Step 3: Ask your server for the cheese on the side and for alternative low-fat cheeses like mozzarella or feta.
  • TIP: If you get cheese on the side, use only one spoonful of grated cheese to top your salad.
  • Step 4: Steer clear of fatty meats like ham, bacon, prosciutto, and fried proteins.
  • Step 5: Choose a salad with fresh vegetables. Do not be fooled into eating roasted or grilled vegetables which can be coated with oil.
  • Step 6: Limit your croutons to a spoonful. If the croutons are large, use your fork or a knife to break them into smaller pieces for that extra crunch.
  • Step 7: Choose a light or nonfat dressing and have the server bring it on the side.
  • TIP: Dip the tip of your fork into the dressing before skewering any salad to get a taste of dressing on every bite without eating a lot of calories.
  • Step 8: Read the menu carefully and ask your waiter to remove anything that seems like fat in disguise. Use a discerning eye and show off your healthy eating habits.
  • FACT: Studies suggest that dark green leafy vegetables – such as spinach and kale – guard against free radicals generated by sunlight, cigarette smoke, air pollution, and infection.

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