I think it’s been long since reported that pre-packaged salads in supermarkets and cafes are often touted as the ‘healthy’ option but can be ladled with hidden calories, fats and sugars in the form of cheese, mayo or dressings but what about your home-made salad?
What do you put in yours?
Generally for me it’s iceberg lettuce, spinach leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, celery and spring onions. Mainly with a teaspoon of light mayo sometimes with a dash of olive oil or balsamic vinegar. If it was a side to say fish or Quorn then that would be it. If I was just having salad then generally it would contain a small tin of tuna (in spring water and drained) and a teaspoon of cottage cheese or small amount of grated cheese-sometimes both. If not tuna then smoked salmon and avocado or boiled egg. In my opinion nice and healthy as its high in protein and veggies. Salad is my ‘go to’ meal as there’s no cooking involved and it takes less than 5 minutes to make. I am a huge fan of ‘monster’ salads and it’s the only meal I eat from a normal sized dinner plate-the rest of my meals I put on a side plate (the size you would generally use to put a sandwich on). I pile my salad high and I always finish it.
However this week I made a tuna and cheese salad with cottage cheese instead of mayo whilst at my mums house. The whole thing was 4 smart points.
When I walked into the living room with it both my mum and step dad were amazed at the size of it-and my step dad has big portions ( he’s one of those annoying people who eats loads but ever seem to put weight on). Both their reactions were ‘look at the size of that!’ followed by my mum saying that my salad would do her 5 times (and remember my mum is at goal) and that surely I wasn’t going to eat all that. When I said I would she said ‘but that will be it for the day won’t it? You won’t eat anything else now will you?’ It was 3pm that wasn’t something I could commit to! ( and yes I did eat later on)
So back to my original question-can salad make you fat from a portion control point of view? Weight Watchers No Count states that you can eat freely from the list until you feel satisfied. Which therefore stops you overeating. But what if you don’t have that ‘off’ switch? When I made that salad I did think it was pretty big but I ate it. Was I stuffed afterwards? No. Was I full afterwards? Yes. Did I eat later? Yes but it was 5 hours later and was a small piece of haddock and a handful of peas.
In terms of filling up on veggies I have differing options from 2 health professionals that I know. One (like me) says pile those veggies high but the other said that it doesn’t matter if it’s salad or a pizza a large portion is a large portion and encourages overeating and veggies still have calories.
What’s your opinion? Can you over eat on veg and therefore is your salad making you fat?