A bowl of good salad can be the best thing you can have any time of the day – yes, the healthiest too! Provided it’s put together this way: flavorful, rich in texture, with fresh cuts of vegetables, lots of crunchy greens, crunchy slices of fruit, and sprouts peeking here and there. To make it more palatable, add nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu or beans. What do you drizzle with salad dressings of choice and what do you have? Now that’s the question!
What’s really in your salad?
Let’s take a look at the contents of some of the most popular salads
Thin strips of cabbage and grated carrots make a powerful combination. However, by using regular mayonnaise, the typical dressing used in this preparation, you reduce the health benefits provided by the vegetables. The number of calories per serving can reach 260. Instead of mayonnaise, you can use low-fat yogurt.
- Cesar salad
This salad has earned a nasty reputation, health-wise, due to the fat and calories from some of its main flavor additions, parmesan and creamy dressings. For each serving of 100 grams, its calorie count could reach 500 and fat 40 g. If you want to continue enjoying the Caesar salad, guilt-free, use fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil for the dressing. Garnish with finely chopped garlic for extra flavor. A tablespoon of parmesan won’t hurt.
- Waldorf Salad
During apple season, what better way to celebrate than a well-prepared bowl of Waldorf salad? But again, you might hold back a little because it has mayonnaise giving you a calorie count of 195 and 18 grams of fat per 100 gram serving. Counter this by using fat-free Greek yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise, then add chopped roasted walnuts for intense flavor. Nuts are rich in healthy fats that help lower bad cholesterol levels.
- Greek salad
The only thing that would likely go against the health benefits of this salad is the fat and sodium content of the cheese you add to it. Go easy on this particular ingredient to reduce fat from 10g to 3g per serving. Spinach, a staple food, is rich in iron and calcium, but your body may not absorb it all because of its oxalic acid. What will help counter this is vitamin c from oranges or mixed lemon juice drops in addition to what you get from tomatoes which also gives you vitamin A. For a stronger heart add plenty of olives which are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, does it! The number of calories per small bowl is 90.
The health of your salad depends on what’s in it. With nutrition in mind, you want the healthy fats that olive oil and avocado can provide. For the best influence on your digestive system from start to finish, you get that from fiber through these green vegetables. When it comes to protein, the nuts and seeds you add to your salad and these chicken breast strips can provide that, just like some carbohydrates are provided by starchy vegetables such as pumpkin and carrots. All of these health benefits and more can be yours when you make sure what’s in your salad.