To say one thing in advance: we love salad – for good reason. Because a salad is – especially in summer – a light main meal, which, unlike pasta, chips & co. for lunch, is not heavy on the stomach. Here you can have a salad without a guilty conscience and eat your fill. But that doesn’t apply to every salad, and certainly not to ready-to-eat salads!
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Because even though the base of rocket, iceberg or lamb’s lettuce has hardly any calories, the wrong ingredients can turn your salad into a real calorie and fat bomb. With these 6, you should be especially careful:
1. finished dressing is a real grease trap
Ready-made dressings from the supermarket are practical, but if you generously drown your salad in them, you will unconsciously add a good portion of extra calories. The reason: many of them are made of mayo, creme fraiche or cream and have an additional load of sugar in their luggage. Each portion (30 millilitres) contains up to 2 pieces of sugar cubes – depending on the variety and manufacturer. You think the light version is the better choice?
Nope, because artificial sweeteners are no better than sugar. Plus: flavors, stabilizers and other additives can be found in almost every ready-to-drink dressing. But they have zero added value for the body.
Ready-made salad plus ready-made dressing: not a healthy combination © VICUSCHKA / Shutterstock.com
Even the salad dressing powder in the small sachets to mix is not healthier. Take a look at the list of ingredients: Sugar is often found high up in the salad dressing.
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Extra tip for ordering salads in the restaurant: It is best to order the dressing separately, i.e. in a small jug with the salad. This way you can dose it better or replace it with vinegar and oil if necessary.
2. avoid breaded proteins
Protein-rich ingredients such as chicken, beef, tofu or shrimps belong in every good salad. With one crucial exception: they should neither be breaded and fried, nor should they be in any ominous crunchy coating. Sure, fried foods simply taste incredibly delicious, but they also contain an incredible amount of calories. And you can save those calories by taking a close look in a restaurant, for example.
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If you have a salad with “crispy” turkey strips, you’d better ask what exactly is behind this description before you fall into the fat trap unsuspectingly.
3. cheese: the secret calorie bomb
Cheese is a real protein grenade, because depending on the type, it provides up to 35 percent protein per 100 grams. It becomes problematic, however, if you make too much of it, because cheese is also very rich in calories and fat. A whole scoop of mozzarella, half a pack of feta or a large handful of gouda cubes in a salad can therefore quickly burst your calorie account. Always keep an eye on the amount!
Feta in salad is delicious, but pay attention to the amount! © Gayvoronskaya_Yana / Shutterstock.com
Our tip: You should try resin cheese in a salad. You’re gonna turn up your nose at that? I dare you! It’s worth it, because this little stinky cheese is a real lightweight with a protein content of 30 percent and a very low calorie content of only 130 calories per 100 grams. Alternatively, slice some delicious Parmesan shavings over your salad.
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Four. Croutons as salad topping? Please don’t!
Croutons give every salad a delicious crunch. But the small bread cubes are fried in plenty of butter and are real fat spinners. In other words: Unnecessary calories that you shovel in on the side.
And what about ready-made croutons? I’ll give you three guesses. Here we have selected the list of ingredients for a product that is currently on the shelves: “Wheat flour, vegetable fat (palm), salt, herbs, sweet whey powder, yeast extract, spices, yoghurt powder, celery, flavouring, sugar, yeast, rapeseed oil. A colourful mix of yeast extract, environmentally harmful palm oil, flavours and sugar. Yummy reads different, doesn’t it? We certainly don’t need to mention that it’s not healthy.
5. too many different fat suppliers
Since avocados have made their way to “superfood”, you can find them on blogs, at Insta & Co. in almost every recipe. Understandable, because avocados are mega tasty and contain many healthy ingredients. But they also provide a lot of fat. Although this is one of the “good fats”, they also contain a lot of calories and at the end of the day you should not exceed your daily fat requirement (whether good or bad), which is between 60 and 80 grams.
Even healthy fats unfortunately contain many calories and of course fat © Yulia-Furman / Shutterstock.com
Half an avocado alone provides 27 grams of fat. Add to this the fat from your dressing (12 grams per tablespoon of oil) and you might even top your salad with nuts or seeds, which are also very fatty. Example: 20 grams of walnuts provide about 12 grams of fat, 20 grams of pine nuts 10 grams and the same amount of pecans even around 15 grams of fat. Do you love salmon? Then add it to your salad: 100 grams of salmon filet provide 14 grams of fat. The daily requirement is quickly exceeded.
And that with just one meal.
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6. bread for salad = lots of extra calories
A side dish in the form of bread should not be missing from salad, after all, the greens don’t really fill you up – or what do you think? We say: such nonsense! Because if you choose the right salad ingredients, you can easily do without the unnecessary carbohydrates. Exception: A slice of healthy wholemeal bread with cottage cheese complements your salad perfectly. Alternatively, you can smuggle a little quinoa under your salad.
If you need bread with your salad, there is always something wrong with your salad, because it alone should be enough to fill you up © Karl-Allgaeuer / Shutterstock.com
However, you should rather avoid white bread, baguette or ciabatta. Of course, this is especially difficult if it is served with a salad in the restaurant. It is even worse in combination with herb butter, aioli & co. Better order a few olives for snacking and simply let the bread basket go back.
You should avoid these mistakes at lunch
These ingredients belong in a good salad
Salad is a good choice both at home and in restaurants. Provided you choose the right ingredients: Besides a salad or salad mix as a basis, vegetables (paprika, tomato, cucumber & Co.) should not be missing of course. Added to this is a healthy source of protein such as turkey, chicken, beef, egg, cooked ham, shrimps, tofu & Co. Top your salad with a few nuts or seeds. You can also mix a tasty vinegar-oil dressing with herbs, ready!