Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to Build a Better Salad

It is common for people to assume that any salad is healthy, when all too often I see people assembling calorie bombs at the salad bar with the only vegetable being iceberg lettuce. While yes, fried chicken, cheese, croutons and a creamy dressing on top of iceberg lettuce is technically a salad, it isn't doing your body any favors.

I challenge clients to include as many colors as possible when choosing fruits and vegetables and to steer clear of croutons and other fried crunchies that are offering no nutritional benefit. Make sure to include a lean protein - tuna, grilled chicken, marinated tofu or hard boiled eggs and skip the fried chicken.

We do want some fats on the salad, as fat is an important nutrient and also helps with absorption of other nutrients (like the beta-carotene in carrots), we just don't want too much. I caution against low-fat salad dressings and to choose a vinaigrette. Low-fat dressings are usually loaded with sugars to make up for the flavor loss with the fat reduction and can be the same amount of calories. Just keep the portion reasonable - 2 tablespoons or so. 

A salad is satisfying when it has a good variety of flavors and textures and a lot of crunch. See if you can hit a all of the colors of the rainbow, add some lean protein and heart healthy fat and your salad will power you through until dinner.

Reader poll: What are your go to salad ingredients? 

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. Please spread the word. I always run into salad with fried stuff!


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