Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken Caesar Salad - How Nutritious is it?

Chicken Caesar salads are commonly thought to be a fairly healthy food, I mean they're called salads for a reason! However, it is quite important to know that certain components of this salad are considered healthy, but there are other parts you should watch out for in your diet.

Some common ingredients in a chicken Caesar salad include chicken, romaine lettuce, oil, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, garlic, lemon juice and eggs.
So depending on the amounts of each of these ingredients, a chicken Caesar salad can be considered as a healthy option or a caloric nightmare.
Restaurant Nutrition Facts
The calorie count for a chicken Caesar salad depends on where you actually have it. The chicken Caesar salad at Chili's for example contains around 1010 calories and 76 grams of fat! Now that's too much! However, in other restaurants, its caloric content could go down to just 250 calories and 14 g of fat, which is more acceptable for a salad. Be sure to check the restaurant's nutrition facts, if any - in Lebanon, before you order your salad.

Healthy Components
  • Lettuce is a low calorie, nutrient dense food. Many Caesar salads contain romaine lettuce, which is a very healthy type of lettuce. On another hand, if your salad contain Iceberg lettuce, well this type of lettuce has less antioxidant and phytochemicals. Just know that the deeper the color of your vegetables, the more rich in nutrients it is.
  • Chicken breast, which is often used in this salad, is a lean protein source, and grilled chicken options are healthy.
  • Anchovies contain heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids and are a healthy part of Caesar dressing.
  • Also, look for dressings made with olive oil, which includes healthy monounsaturated fats, that can lower your risk of heart disease. Garlic and lemon are also part of you dressin. They are low in calories, thus they are healthy ingredients in many Caesar salads.

Unhealthy Components
  • If your chicken is fried, well, I have bad news. Fried chicken can add loads of calories and fat to chicken Caesar salads, so it's best if you ask for your chicken breast to be grilled! And yes, you can actually do that: amend their chicken Caesar recipe.
  • Cheese, like Parmesan, is also a prime culprit that adds calories and fat to your salad. If you want, you can ask for your cheese to come on the side, this way you can choose how much of that cheese you want in your meal.
  • Last but no least, be sure to order your salad without croutons, that are often fried in oil or butter.
Healthy Caesar Salad Recipe - Now this one, I love!
Making your own healthy chicken Caesar salad can save you hundreds of calories. Combine fresh romaine lettuce with grilled chicken breast, and add the following ingredients to make a healthy Caesar dressing: 2 tsp reduced fat mayo, 1/4 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar, 1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, garlic powder to taste and fresh black pepper. Add 1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese on top of the salad, and you have yourself a healthy chicken Caesar salad with 220 calories, 7 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein! Yum!
Brought to you from: E how facts!

1 comment:

  1. wow i had no idea it could contain this much calories!!