I have been around so many people who feel like they are doing such a good job by shopping and eating at the local “heath” food stores, ie Whole Foods, PCC, Trader Joes, and even the organic section at King Soopers, QFC and Safeway. Although I applaud your efforts in being more conscientious about where you are purchasing your food and avoiding the non-organic, weight gaining, GMO’d and pesticide sprayed products (wow that was a mouth full) things aren’t always what they seem.
When I worked in the prep-foods department at one of these stores, all thoughts I had about their “healthy” products went out the sliding glass doors. Some of you may not be surprised by the following info, but for those of you who still eat off the salad bar, or buy pre-packaged/deli foods at any of these “healthy” stores this might just help decrease your waist line.
Common "health food store" deli choices:
Chicken Salad: 8oz (smallest size) 610 calories and 43g of fat (from mayonnaise) and 13g of sugar (from where? added!!)
Pasta Salad: 5oz (smaller serving size) 400 calories and 17g of fat (once again from mayo). Each serving has at least 2TB (200 calories) of oil.
PCC (Washington State)
Emerald city salad: 3 cups (average serving) 636 calories and 42g of fat Ingredients as stated on recipe card “All-natural wild rice, fennel, kale and red peppers with hearty greens in a lemony vinaigrette” Where does all that fat come from?
Perfect protein salad: 1/4 cup 300 calories and 12 grams of protein. It may have a good amount of protein but the vegan mayo adds a lot of fat and added calories.
Any Store Prepackaged salads with dressing and add-ons: 500-1500 calories and more fat than we want to talk about.
In the past few years I have gotten pretty good at judging calories in foods and just seeing what people do to their “salads” is scary. By the time they are finished making it, the nuts, seeds, a “small” portion of pre-made pasta, bean salad, meat etc and light dressing, the calories and fat have really added up.
So now for the good news about choices at salad bars/deli’s… You have a CHOICE!
- Please help yourselves to all the vegetables that are not drenched in sauce/oil and the meat that is plain (most will have chicken pieces and if none are on the salad bar, go to the meat counter and ask for a few slices of organic low sodium chicken/turkey slices).
- For a dressing you have 2 choices:
#1 take a sample cup (1/4 cup) and fill 1/4 of it with salad dressing and 1/4 with water, shake and apply. Non of this dipping the fork and then stabbing the lettuce… you will end up going through all of it.
#2 pour on lots of vinegar (not vinaigrette) and mustard, tsp of honey/maple syrup, lots of spices and a tiny bit of oil (a tsp).
All of these ideas also apply to eating at a restaurant. Easy advice for eating out: ask for grilled, steamed, or baked meat/fish with no oil and a side of veggies, hello healthy! If you MUST order something else from the menu assume it is 3 portions in front of you. Either share with a friend or get a doggie bag. I highly recommend sharing because inevitably you will be eating that again and the point of going out to eat is to do it there, don’t bring it home. Unless… you plan on feeding it to the doggies, hence doggie bag.
AUTHOR: Jennifer Tingstad
img source: feastingathome.com/