14 Ingredients for a Skinnier Salad

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6 Fat Traps to Avoid

They're tempting, but the six ingredients below will transform your perfectly healthy salad into a nutritional nightmare.

Bacon bits: These crunchy villains are full of fat and sodium and not much else.

Croutons: Resist these bite-size bread nuggets. They're often fried and can contain bad-for-the-heart trans fats.

Creamy salad dressing: "It's the worst source of hidden calories," says Samantha Heller, RD, senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center, in New York City. Regular dressings, such as Caesar, ranch, and Thousand Island, can have a whopping 150 calories and 16 grams of fat per tablespoon. Instead, drizzle two to three tablespoons of a low-fat or nonfat dressing on your salad. Or mix two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar with one of olive oil.

Deli meats: Sodium-rich salami, ham, and pepperoni get about 60 percent of their calories from fat.

Fatty cheeses: Blue cheese and Roquefort are high in artery-clogging fat.

Macaroni and potato salads: They're drenched in high-calorie, fatty mayo and sodium. "Skip them and you'll save hundreds of calories," says Heller. If you crave carbs, toss in whole-wheat pasta, which has fiber and some protein.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, January 2005.

 

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