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How Healthy is Your Salad?

Posted by Liza Muravyeva MS RD LD/N on Jun 4, 2012 7:22:00 AM

It’s time for lunch and instead of ordering a burger and fries, you made the wise choice to order a salad. You are proud of yourself for steering away from junk food - ordering something good for the body; but just how “healthy” is your salad?

Is it a bowl of iceberg lettuce with a few carrots, a handful of shredded yellow cheese and half a cup of ranch dressing? If it is, you are doing yourself more harm than good. Using 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing to your salad adds 150 calories and 15 grams of fat to your meal!

healthy saladInstead, you should select nutrient rich spinach or arugula for the base of your salad. Then, add tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, carrots, celery, bell peppers or any other vegetables that you like. Think of coloring your salad with vegetables. Other great options to mix-in include a teaspoon of raisins or some heart healthy walnuts. For dressing, stick with an oil and vinegar combination. Use omega 6-rich flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil or ThinFat®. Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar for only 20 calories.

Another great salad mix is a spring mix! This includes baby romaine, oak leaf lettuce, endive, and radicchio. These taste delicious; and are much more nutrient-rich than iceberg lettuce. If you think a salad will leave you hungry after an hour then top it with some grilled chicken breast, egg whites or tuna. Eating lean protein and lots of veggies on your salad gives you the best of both worlds.

Furthermore, avoid the “Mexican shell taco salad” at all costs! If you have the option of getting the same salad without the shell, always do so. The shell is usually fried in who-knows-what kind of oil!

Don’t let your salad be the downfall of your day and ruin your diet! Your salad should be a satisfying, nutrient packed meal - not a mountain for ranch dressing!

What tips do you have to creating a healthy salad? Comment below

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Topics: nutrition, health, diet, diet tips

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