Salad, Healthy or Not?
As we all know, American food has a relatively bad reputation. When many people think about American food, they instinctively relate to the McDonald’s style fast food, which means food with high calories, fat and sugar content. Luckily, more and more American people are getting aware of the importance of a healthy diet. And some of them are pretty satisfied with how well they are doing. If you ask an American about his/her diet, it’s very likely that he/she would proudly answer, “I’ve been eating very healthily. I always have a lot of salad.” Then, here comes the big question—“Is salad really that healthy?” I’m sure most people would immediately answer “Yes”, with an unbelieving look on their face, wondering what on earth I’m thinking, asking such an obvious question. But I’m sure after I show them more information about salad, they would at least hesitate a little bit when answering the same question again.
There’s no doubt that vegetables are good for people’s health. A lot of studies indicate that people who eat lots of vegetables are less vulnerable to many diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, eye problems and even cancer (Pope, 2008, para. 3). Also, vegetables are low in calories, high in fibers and therefore extremely good for people who need to watch their weight. Since in America vegetables are mostly served in the form of salad, all these result in the current popularity of salad.
But to most people’s surprise, “what we like to think of as a healthful, nutritious green lunch [salad] can be a gluttonous fat-laden artery-clogger if we’re not careful.”(Millsap, 2008, para. 1) If you log on the website of some big fast food chain, like McDonald’s, and check their nutrition information, if there is such a thing, you would be surprised by the amount of calories and fat their salads contain. For instance, a single serving of McDonald’s Asian salad with crispy chicken and sesame ginger dressing has 500...