Quick Bites: Salata

A few weeks ago, we began our Quick Bites series with Chick-fil-a. In that post, we discussed some parameters to set when eating out. Salata is one of my favorite places to eat, and it seems like they have locations popping up all over! I love being able to choose exactly the type of salad I want to eat, and they have plenty of options to get creative. Salads can be a great way to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, but if you are not careful, a salad may have more calories and fat grams than a hamburger! It’s important to know what to choose and what to avoid when making a salad at Salata to ensure you are actually consuming a healthy dish. You can also use these recommendations as general guidelines when consuming a salad at any eating establishment or at your own home! I have broken the list down into menu items to consider and those to avoid if possible. Remember, these are just suggestions and there may be items that I have not listed that are acceptable within reason. The portions of each topping are small (typically about 1 oz), but all of the nutritionals for a salad can add up quickly!

logo-salata

Dressings: As previously discussed, salad dressings can contain a large amount of calories and protein if you are not careful.  It is better to make your own dressing at home or use yogurt based dressing if possible. At Salata, most of the dressings to choose from have 200 or more calories per a 2 oz serving except for the two I have recommended below. Don’t forget to always ask for your dressing on the side so you can control exactly how much dressing you use!

Choose: Fat free sun- dried tomato – 16 calories, 0 gm total fat, 378 mg sodium, 4 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm sugar
Choose: Fat free mango – 36 calories, 0 gm total fat, 10 mg sodium, 8 gm carbohydrates, 8 gm sugar
Avoid: Lemon Vinaigrette – 300 calories, 32 gm total fat, 204 mg sodium, 2 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm sugar
Avoid: Fresh Herb Vinaigrette – 296 calories, 30 gm total fat, 432 mg sodium, 4 gm carbohydrates, 4 gm sugar

Lettuce: Although there is no lettuce to ‘avoid’, there are better options to choose due to the nutrients they provide.

Choose: Salata (or a spring) mix, spinach or kale.

Vegetable/Carbohydrate Toppings: When creating a salad, vegetable toppings are going to be a better option to mix into your salad for the nutrients they provide. They also tend to be lower in carbohydrates than fruit. If possible, I would stick around 4 vegetable toppings and choose a variety of color to get the most nutrition out of your salad. For instance, choose carrots (orange), tomatoes (red), green bell pepper (green), beets (purple).  If you desire additional nutrition, add non-carbohydrate vegetables and avoid starchy options such as snap peas, corn, or pasta.

Choose (all are about 10 calories or less): Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, green bell pepper, radish, celery, red onion, mixed cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, cilantro, beets, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers.
Avoid: Pasta – 82 calories, 3 gn total fat, 184 mg sodium, 13 gm carbohydrates, 1 gm sugar
Avoid: Green Olives – 41 calories, 4 gm total fat, 436 gm sodium (!), 1 gm carbohydrate, 1 gm sugar (* choose black olives instead – 30 calories, 180 mg sodium)

Fruit Toppings: As mentioned, fruits provide essential nutrients, but without the balance of non-starchy vegetables, it can lead to a high- carbohydrate salad. If possible, I would stick around 1-2 fruit toppings and once again, choose a variety of color. There are some fruit options that are slightly lower in calories and carbohydrates such as strawberries or mandarin oranges and ones that are higher (especially the dried fruit) such as cranberries and raisins.

Other Toppings: 

Choose: Egg – 43 calories, 3 gm total fat, 35 mg sodium, 0 gm carbohydrates, 0 gm sugars, 4 gm protein
Choose: Feta cheese- 45 calories, 4 gm total fat, 189 mg sodium, 1 gm carbohydrate, 1 gm sugar
Choose: Black Beans – 24 calories, 0 gm total fat, 60 mg sodium, 5 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm sugar, 1 gm protein
Avoid: Bacon Bites – 71 calories, 6 gm total fat, 285 mg sodium, 0 gm carbohydrates, 0 gm sugar
Avoid: Parmesan cheese – 73 calories, 5 gm total fat, 260 mg sodium, 1 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm sugar

Animal based Protein:

Choose: Herb Marinated Chicken (small salad/ wrap) – 114 calories, 3 gm total fat, 283 mg sodium, 0 gm carbohydrates, 0 gm sugar
Choose: Herb Marinated Shrimp (small salad/ wrap): 45 calories, 1 gm total fat, 93 mg sodium, 0 gm carbohydrates, 0 gm sugar
Avoid: Asian BBQ Chicken (small salad/ wrap) – 169 calories, 6 gm total fat, 444 mg sodium, 3 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm sugar
Avoid: Herb Marinated Krabmeat (small salad/ wrap) – 112 calories, 3 gm total fat, 630 mg sodium (!), 16 gm total carbohydrates, 5 gm sugar    ** A regular salad portion of herb roasted krabmeat has 1045 mg sodium! Yikes!

Vegan Proteins:

Choose: Quinoa (small salad/ wrap)- 80 calories, 1 gm total fat, 5 mg sodium, 14.5 gm carbohydrates, 0.5 gm sugar
Avoid: Falafel (small salad/wrap)- 132 calories, 4 gm total fat, 400 mg sodium (!), 18 gm carbohydrates, 0.5 gm sugar

Tortillas for Wraps: All of the wraps have similar calorie and carbohydrate content, but the whole wheat wrap is slightly better with about 3 grams less carbohydrates and 2 gm more fiber (total 310 calories, 9 gm total fat, 520 mg sodium, 46 gm carbohydrates (4 gm fiber), 1 gm sugar). As you can tell, if you can avoid making a wrap at Salata and consume a salad alone, you are nutritionally better off!

Breads (choose 1, depending on the carbohydrate content of the toppings in your salad):

Choose: Croutons- 29 calories, 3 gm total fat, 26 mg sodium, 1 gm carbohydrates, 0 gm sugar
Avoid: Pita chips – 187 calories, 8 gm total fat, 132 mg sodium, 18 gm carbohydrates, 2 gm sugar

Soups (if a side is needed):  All options are high in sodium, but the cup sizes are a better option than ordering the bowl.

Choose: Cup Tortilla soup – 64 calories, 0 gm total fat, 592 mg sodium, 8 gm carbohydrates, 0 gm sugar
Avoid: Cup of Tomato Basil Soup – 376 calories, 32 gm total fat, 768 mg sodium, 8 gm carbohydrates, 8 gm sugar

HBH quick bites PDF copy

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Comments

  1. Great info! I love all the calorie and nutrition breakdowns! Thanks!

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  1. […] have discussed healthier options to choose when eating out at Chick Fil A, Salata and Starbucks.  Now, we continue our Quick Bites series by looking at Jason’s Deli. Known […]

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