What’s Really Hiding in your Salad?

healthy salad

Try this healthy salad from Cooking Light. Recipe linked at end of post.

It seems like healthy eating and salads have been synonymous since the beginning of time. Okay, fine. They probably didn’t have salad back then, but you get the picture.

The idealistic notion of this dish is that it’s jam-packed with good-for-you veggies and not much else. The actual representation, though, is often far from healthy and far from what we expect from our salad.

No need to give up on them though. Salads can still be a delicious and nutritious way to eat well, just follow the tips below.

Opt for Darker Greens
While Iceberg lettuce certainly isn’t the worst offender found in a salad, it’s not necessarily pulling its weight either. This light-colored lettuce is lower in vitamins and minerals than its darker-colored counterparts such as spinach, romaine or kale. If you’re choosing greens over French fries, why not get the most bang for your buck?

Go Easy on the Dressing
Salad dressing is a great chameleon – it provides flavor to veggies while disguising less than desirable components such as fat and sugar. Watch out for creamy dressings that tend to be packed with fat and calories – and those low-fat versions? It’s a simple rule of science: if you take away fat, you have to add something back in to make it taste good… something like sugar. Reading labels before eating is your best defense.

Choose toppings wisely
Even if greens are the backbone of a salad, toppings are what really help this dish stand. Most of us recognize that bacon and cheese aren’t exactly the most nutritionally beneficial choices, but did you know even good-for-you foods can add unwanted calories to your salad? Items such as nuts, eggs and dried fruit offer healthy fats and nutrients, but they’re also extremely calorie-dense making their impact add up fast. Remember to use them sparingly.

So there you have it; Truth is, not all salads are created equal, but next time you decide to enjoy one, you’ll have the upper hand.  

Recipe
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