The salad bar looks like a healthy choice -- but not all salads are created equal. Right next to the raw veggies, you might have gigantic croutons and bacon bits. If you want to build a hunger-busting plate and still keep calories in check, zero in on these choices and portions. (Curious to see what a typical woman eats on an average day? Check out honest food diaries from three bloggers: Nikki, Koren, and Meredith.)


1 cup (baseball size)
10 calories
Darker leaves pack more nutrients, so choose mixed greens.


Chickpeas or kidney beans
1/4 cup (golf ball size)
70 to 90 calories
Mixed beans in a dressing contain added fat, so drain the liquid.


Chopped egg
2 tablespoons (size of 2 large marbles)
30 calories
Eat just the egg white to save cholesterol and half the calories.


1/2 cup (tennis ball size)
20 calories
If they're shiny, they've been tossed in oil, which means more calories.


Sliced ham or turkey
2 tablespoons
30 calories
High in protein and low in fat—but if the ham is cut into chunks, it may not be as lean.


1/4 cup
60 calories
Though high in calories, it's rich in filling good fats.


Shredded cheese
2 tablespoons
60 calories
Assume that the cheeses are full-fat.


1/4 cup
5 calories
They're low in calories—feel free to pile them high.


2 tablespoons
Fat-free: 20 to 50 calories
Light: 50 to 80 calories
Regular: 100 to 150 calories
Vinaigrettes tend to have fewer calories than creamy ones.


Add It Up
Try this salad, using some of the above ingredients: 2 cups mixed greens + 1 cup sliced cucumbers + 1 cup tomatoes + 1/2 cup chickpeas + 2 tablespoons regular dressing = a smart 410 calories. But use this guide to make a plate that makes your mouth (and your waistline) happy.


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Source: Pure Matters