Soup and Salad – Are You Making a Healthy Choice?

January 30, 2016

Soups and salads are the first foods that come to mind when we think healthy eating – and rightly so. After all, they usually contain healthful foods, leafy greens and low calorie ingredients. However, many soups and salads, especially those from restaurants or fast food chains, can be deceiving in their nutritional value.

Starting with salads, the lettuce vegetables and fruits that may be included are, in fact, very healthy. However, the dressing that you’ll add to the salad can contain hundreds of additional calories that can turn a healthy meal into a recipe for weight gain. Choosing low fat and low calorie dressings, including light oil and vinegar or a low fat version of your favorite dressing, can be a great way to get the taste that you want without many of the calories. Even if they have the words “light” or “low” in them, you should still check the nutritional table for sugar content and sodium.

Soups, even those that seem healthiest, tend to contain significant amounts of sodium. While the sodium in and of itself is low calorie, it has many adverse effects on the body. There is significant data to support sodium exacerbating high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. This is especially dangerous for an obese person who is already struggling with high blood pressure. With heart disease being the leading risk factor for death in women in the US, patients should be sure that if they do buy soup from a restaurant or a grocery store shelf, it is a low-sodium version. Sodium can also cause weight gain, kidney stones, bloating and water retention.

One great way to make sure you know what you’re eating is to just make it yourself. Of all the foods out there, salads and soups are some of the cheapest and easiest meals to prepare at home. That said, as with everything we consume – bariatric surgery or not – moderation is key. Going slow and sticking to our portions can really make a difference.

Keeping an eye on the foods you consume, even those considered to be most healthy, is a must after bariatric surgery. Ultimately, we are responsible for what we eat. Making sure that the foods we consume are diet-friendly can make the weight loss process faster and easier.