The Extras Count!


I don’t eat at fast food places very often, but when I do, I try to choose what seems to be healthy options. Last week I ran over to Wendy’s to get a side salad and a small chili. Healthy, right? In and of themselves, yes, those would be healthy options, but if you get any of the small “extras” to go with those items, it quickly becomes less healthy.

I did a little research and this is what I found. A small side salad with ranch dressing and croutons comes to 210 calories and 13 grams of fat. This isn’t one of their nice big entrée salads, this is a small side salad! Take the croutons away, you’re at 120 calories and 10 grams of fat. Take away the dressing and your salad is 25 calories and no fat.

The small chili with cheese and a couple saltines comes to 260 calories and 11 grams of fat! Take away the saltines, its 230 calories and 10 fat grams. Eliminate the cheese and your small chili is 170 calories and 5 grams of fat.

I decided to make the chili my dressing. I got a plain side salad and spooned chili on top of it. Put some calorie free hot sauce on it and black pepper. It was AWESOME! And I still had chili left to enjoy on the side. Instead of soda, I got a small unsweetened green tea. This lunch was a total of 195 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. Getting rid of those extras saved me 4 extra miles!

We often focus on the main food that we order, but don’t pay too much attention to those “extras”, but as you can see, it makes a big difference. So the next time you eat out, think about those extras: sour cream, cheese, mayo or “special Sauce”, crackers and croutons, the “free” bread. By saying no to those extras, you will save yourself a lot of calories!


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