A seemingly healthy salad can be a calorie bomb when smothered in high-fat dressing. Many popular salads are loaded with calories and fat. Whether you want to get rid of excess weight or improve your health, adding salads to your diet can help you achieve your goals. Salads are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. The trick is to make sure you add enough protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to your salad so it is still a perfectly balanced meal.
Eat Lots of Veggies
At less than 25 calories per serving, fresh vegetables are a great addition to any salad. Vary your ingredients to vary the nutrients; you’ll get a large amount of folic acid, vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and fiber. Stay away from veggies that are fried or swimming in mayonnaise. Your salad can include cucumbers, peppers, shredded carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, mushrooms, and onions.
Add Some Brown Rice
Adding brown rice to a salad keeps you full for longer and makes it even more delicious. Brown rice is rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which will boost your energy levels and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Add Protein Rich Foods
One of the best ways to prepare a flavorful salad that helps stave off hunger for hours is to add protein rich foods such as tuna fish, salmon, shrimp, lean steak or beans. Your salad may also include baked tofu, green soybeans, low fat cheese, boiled eggs, or chicken breast. By adding these ingredients, you can turn your salad into a complete meal.
Use Raw, Homemade Dressings
Instead of loading your salad with commercial dressings and sauces rich in saturated fat, learn to prepare your own dressings. You can use extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, yogurt, garlic, flax seed oil, avocado, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice. For a cheese dressing, you can add low fat mayonnaise, garlic powder, crumbled blue cheese, parsley, and white vinegar.
Add Herbs and Spices
Add new flavors to your salads by adding herbs and spices such as mustard, parsley, curry, flavored vinegar, basil, coriander, cumin and others. You may also add a tablespoon of chopped green olives or a handful of toasted nuts.
Skip the Croutons
Croutons only contain a few nutrients and empty calories. Instead of adding croutons to your favorite salad, opt for whole grain crackers or a whole grain roll. Other options include raisins, granola, chopped walnuts, feta cheese and Chinese noodles. Even though these foods are rich in calories, they contain more nutrients than croutons.
A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs to function properly. Adding salads, grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet is a great way to improve your health and maintain a balanced weight. For more diet tips and nutritious recipes, check out DSM Food.