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Nutritional value of salads with certain dressings questionable: nutritionist

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Salads might not be as healthy as most people think, according to Lin Tzu-yu (林子又), a nutritionist from the Taiwan Adventist Hospital.

Most people believe salad is an important part of a healthy diet, but what they fail to notice — or perhaps choose to ignore — is that the salad dressing they add to enhance the flavor of those bland, raw vegetables is actually quite high in calories, Lin said yesterday.

Thousand Island dressing, one of the most fattening and popular of all salad dressings, is made of mayonnaise and ketchup, giving it a delicious taste and velvety texture. But just two tablespoons of it contain calories equaling a third of a bowl of rice. One tablespoon has about 45 to 50 calories.

Lin suggested people use low-calorie alternatives, such as balsamic vinegar or olive oil.

A light meal can be low in calories (about 370 to 400), Lin said, but she added that it is important that the meal also offer enough nutrients.

She warned against eating just salad for a meal, and suggested improving the nutritional value of a salad by eating it with hummus, a hard-boiled egg or rice balls.

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