Let’s talk about salads for minute; May is National Salad Month after all. While they’ve been synonymous with healthy eating since, well, basically forever, it’s no surprise the idealistic notion of a salad is jam-packed with good-for-you veggies and not much else. However, the actual representation is often far from healthy and far from what we might expect from a salad.
No need to stop eating them though. The truth is salads can be a delicious and nutritious way to eat healthy. Just follow the simple tips below to make sure you are getting the most bang for your nutritional buck.
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.
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.