Thursday, September 22, 2011
Having a salad can be good for you, but not all are low in calories

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Dieting tends to be harder when people go out to eat. There are often things like rolls with dinner that provide unexpected calories. Some people feel that if they just have a salad, then they will control their total caloric intake. That might be true. That might not be true. All salads are not created equal. The basic salad in a fast food restaurant can have as few as 130 calories. McDonalds has such a salad. However, in many cases there are other things added to the salad. That might be a chicken breast. That might be cheese. That might be a boiled egg. That might be chunks of meat. All of these things increase the caloric intake. There are many fast food salads that have over 350 calories. Wendys has many of them. However, they can be found at every fast food restaurant. Therefore, you can easily get a salad that contains between 130 and 350 calories. When you consider that each meal should have about 500 calories, that makes salad something to consider as a meal. Unfortunately, the salad itself is only part of the story. Every salad has a salad dressing. What many people do not realize is that the dressing can add a significant amount of calories to the meal. The light dressings consist of about 40 to 80 calories per serving. If you add that amount to a typical salad, the result is still a meal that is less than 500 calories. Regular dressings have a lot more calories. Most of them run between 150 and 300 calories. That makes it very easy to have a salad that is more than 500 calories. Quiznos actually has a dressing that contains 480 calories. That is their peppercorn ceasar dressing. They also have two dressings that contain 450 calories. Those are the honey-dijon and tzatziki dressings. One has to be careful about the fact that the calories in a dressing are based upon one serving. If someone likes to put extra dressing on the salad, the calories mount up very quickly. Some of the fancier salads at restaurants have many more calories. Both the apple walnut and bruschetta chicken salad at Applebees have over 1000 calories each. The other thing to be careful about is to assume that salad is only part of an entire meal. That is fine for a small side salad with low calorie dressing. You can probably get that for a total of about 200 calories. However, if you have a salad of more than 500 calories and you decide to make that only part of your meal, you could eat an entire days worth of calories with one meal. My suggestion is that you look in advance at the nutritional information for the place you like to have salad. Then pick a salad and a dressing that you will like to eat but will not overload the calories. Once you have that information, you can order that salad and dressing when you visit that restaurant. Having salad is a good thing. You just need to make sure you do not make it too much of a good thing.

Protect yourself with a flu shot Vaccination is the best strategy to protect people against the spread of the influenza. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu shot, to protect themselves and their loved ones. To help make that happen, the Division of Public Health (DPH) announces its 2011-2012 flu clinic schedule, running statewide from Oct. 11 to Dec. 1. Todays flu shots are very safe, said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. Its especially important that anyone with a chronic health condition or who cares for or lives with someone with a chronic condition get immunized. DPH flu shot clinics are intended for Delawareans age 9 and older who do not have a health care provider or whose insurance does not cover flu shots. The vaccine is the same as last year and the nasal spray vaccination is available in addition to the typical shot. DPH has received nearly 30,000 doses of vaccines and distributed approximately 20,000 so far. Health care providers, pharmacies and grocery stores are also offering flu vaccinations statewide. Individuals without primary care providers and/or without insurance, who cannot afford a flu shot, may be immunized at DPH clinics. A clinic will be held at the Blades Fire Co. on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 2 to 7 p.m. and at the Greenwood Fire Co. on Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 2 to 7 p.m. For more flu information, visit

Local Red Cross seeks volunteers For more than a century, the American Red Cross has lent a helping hand to victims of fires, floods, hurricanes and other disasters. The American Red Cross is calling upon residents of Sussex County to help the volunteer-led organization serve the community during times of need. A volunteer orientation will be held at the Cordrey Center/East Coast Garden Center, 30366 Cordrey Dr., east of Millsboro, from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The American Red Cross is an humanitarian organization providing relief to victims of disaster and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. In addition, the Red Cross offers preparedness training in CPR, first aid and other life-saving skills. The Red Cross offers many volunteer opportunities, ranging from Disaster Response members who provide immediate, emergency assistance following a disaster to helping with special events throughout the year. Other volunteer roles include Health & Safety instructors and administrative support. For more volunteer opportunities, visit To register for the September 28 orientation, call the local Red Cross at 1-800-777-6620, option 7 or send an email to

Strides Against Breast Cancer walk The 2nd Annual Sussex County Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Owens Campus of Delaware Tech Community College, Georgetown. The event is a 5K (3.1 miles) walk, and will also include a 5K run component, which is competitive. Individuals of all ages are welcome to participate.

Registration opens at 7 a.m., race begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. A registration fee is required for runners. There is no fee required to participate in the walk; however, fundraising is encouraged. This is your opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors, remember people we have lost, and raise funds and awareness to help eliminate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. Last year, the inaugural event was a huge success. Over 700 people participated raising in excess of $50,000 towards the fight against breast cancer. For more information or to become involved in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Sussex County, visit or call 1-800-937-9696.

Hospice hosts conference Delaware Hospices Family Support Center will hold a professional conference, Peace at Last:A Warriors Journey from Wartime to End-of-Life, with national speaker and author Deborah Grassman, RN, MS, NP, on Friday, Oct. 28, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Deborah Grassman has been a nurse practitioner with the Veterans Administration for 26 years and director of the VA Hospice Program for 15 years.She pioneered the identification of post-trauma effects on the quality of a persons dying process, as well as ways to effectively respond to issues that surface at the end-of-life. Registration fee is $99 per person and $75 per student.Seats are limited, so early registration is recommended. Application has been made for 6.0-7.5 contact hours for nurses, social workers, counselors, nursing home administrators and funeral home services. For more information or reservations, contact Vicki Costa, 478-5707, ext. 1129 or

Bereavement luncheons Delaware Hospices New Beginnings bereavement luncheons are an informal way to meet and talk with others, who have had similar loss experiences. Lunch begins at noon and is followed by a brief program.The location rotates each week of the month throughout Sussex County. New Beginnings luncheons are open to the public. Registration is not required.There is no fee except the cost of your lunch. For more information, call Midge Dinatale or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.

Walk hopes to raise $70k The Sussex County Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and run will be Sunday, Oct. 2, at Delaware Technical and Community College in Georgetown. Organizer Mary Catherine Hopkins, Bethel, hopes to raise $70,000. For details, call Hopkins at 875-7308. Information about the run is also available at

Relay for Life fundraiser Dr. Marie Wolfgang is again sponsoring a 12 night Winter Getaway Cruise to the Southern Caribbean as a fundraiser for Relay for Life, sailing from Cape Liberty, N.J. on Feb. 10. The itinerary includes St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Johns (Antigua), St. Lucia and St. Maarten (Philipsburg). Transportation to and from the dock is available. For a brochure, call or visit Dr. Wolfgangs office at One Cedar Ave. in Seaford, 629-4471. Space is limited.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. To learn more, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Diabetes Support Group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford, will hold a free diabetes support group on Monday, Oct. 17 from 5 to 6 p.m., at the hospital. If you have diabetes, are you struggling to make positive behavior changes in your life or would you just like to share with others coping with diabetes Come join our free support group for individuals with diabetes. Clara Dewey, LPTA, physical therapy assistant, will speak about Exercise and Diabetes on Oct. 17. There will also be a question and answer period. Registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Bike-a-thon riders fight cancer Ron Breeding is calling on Seaford residents again to join the St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital Wheels For Life Bike-a-thon slated for Sunday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m., at West Seaford Elementary School. Volunteer workers and riders are needed for this Bike-a-thon to raise funds for the world famous research center in its battle against childhood cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. Were looking for riders who will contribute their time and talent to help children live. We really need lots of riders, since they are the ones who can make this bike-a-thon successful, Breeding said. In the Wheels for Life Bike-a-thon, riders ask sponsors to make donations based on each mile completed. All riders turning in money will receive a certificate. Those who raise $35 will receive a certificate and a special St. Jude T-shirt. When $75 is raised, the rider receives a sports bag and anyone raising over $150 will get a fleece blanket. Plans are being made to give a $100 savings bond to the top fundraiser plus gifts will be given to a boy or girl who collects the most money. The Seaford Kiwanis Club will host the event for the 25th year by providing refreshments. This event is a great family project. Entry forms are available at all school offices, the Nemours Health and Prevention Office, and City Hall. Anyone wishing to provide a prize, sponsor a rider or participate in the ride, should call Ron Breeding at 629-3964.