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9 Myths About Your Salad

Myth #7: If I Add Bacon, I Might as Well Have Ordered a Burger.

Bacon won't ever win any health prizes — in fact, nutritionists consider it a fat (and not a healthy fat!), as opposed to a meat. But it's not as bad as you might think. One slice, about 1 tablespoon crumbled, has about the same amount of fat as 2 tablespoons of feta or shredded cheese or 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds. Just make sure you keep other fats, such as croutons or creamy dressing, out of your salad.

Myth #8: You Can't Get Food Poisoning from Salad like You Can from Beef or Chicken.

"Lettuce, sprouts, and tomatoes are some of the most common carriers of salmonella, toxic strains of E. coli, and other harmful microbes," says Christopher Braden, M.D., at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. How do they get into your salad? From the manure and contaminated water they're grown in, from a dirty cutting board or knife, or from people touching the vegetables without washing their hands. Not much you can do about it when you're out, but at home, wash veggies under running water.

Myth #9: Organic Salad Is Healthier.

When it comes to nutrients, freshness matters more than an "organic" designation. Every day after they're picked, vegetables lose vitamin B, vitamin C, and other nutrients; heat and light speed the decline. A conventional head of lettuce that was picked yesterday will have retained lots more nutrients than an organic head of lettuce that's a week out of the fields. Of course, there are reasons to choose organic, but a nutrient bonus isn't one of them.

 

 

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