Snack Wars: Summer Salads

The unofficial start of summer is just around the corner and if you’re like most Americans, you’re probably hosting or heading to a backyard barbecue this Memorial Day weekend.  No doubt, you’ll be faced with lots of tempting foods including the holy trinity of summer sides: cole slaw, potato, and macaroni.  Think you know how these backyard faves stack up?  Let’s find out. 

Round One: Calories

If you guessed Cole Slaw is the least calorie dense, you’re right.  At 147 calories per 3/4 cup serving, it’s the best of the three if you’re saving your calories for dessert.  A half cup of potato salad packs 217 calories, the same sized serving of macaroni salad contains 280 calories.

Round Two: Fat grams

Despite being made out of relatively healthy base ingredients (cabbage, potatoes and pasta), none of these salads are low fat…with an average of 12 fat grams each per serving.  Blame the mayo.  If you’re looking for a healthier alternative try swapping the mayo in your recipes for an oil and vinegar dressing.

Round Three: Least likely to make you sick

If you’re serving any of these salads at your outdoor barbecue, make sure you keep all three cold.  Summer is high season for salmonella poisoning.  (e. Coli too)  Blame the mayo…again.  On a 90 degree day, room temperature food is only safe for about an hour.

Winner: Us! 

No two (or three) ways about it, doesn’t matter what food you eat this coming weekend, we’re all winners because summer is here.  😀 

But seriously, I say pick a favorite salad and help yourself to a serving of just that one.  If you can’t choose, take a little of each, just not a full serving of all three.  It’s the buffbroad golden rule: everything in moderation!


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