Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just Because It’s a Salad, Doesn’t Mean It’s Healthy

Many of us think if we order a salad we are choosing the healthier option, but in many cases the salad can be worse for you than that cheeseburger you really want. First of all, we tend to compensate the fact that we went “healthy” and eat more. Calories are calories at the end of the day. The salad bar also offers so many choices that can take your salad from light meal to four-course meal. Some of these toppings are loaded with fat, sugar and carbs. Here are a few tips on keeping your salad healthy and still tasty…

1. Greenery- Choose a darker leaf like spinach or arugula. These are dense with essential vitamins and nutrients. Iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value and will not fill you up enough.

2. Dress appropriately- Stick to less creamy dressings like (extra virgin) olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette. Dressings like ranch and caesar are loaded with extra calories. And always ask for it on the side, restaurants always over-do it with the dressing.

3. Use the 50-25-25 rule- Your salad should contain 50% veggies and grains, 25% healthy fats, and 25% lean protein. Try and incorporate veggies that are rich in folic acid, vitamins and minerals such as broccoli, peppers and tomatoes. Healthy fats would be avacados and nuts.

4. Protien- Pick a protein that will fill you up, satisfy you and still taste good. I love to put salmon, grilled chicken, tuna or turkey sausages in my salads.

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