On my journey to eating healthier, I’ve been ordering more salads when I eat out at restaurants. Lately, though, I’ve had to wonder about what constitutes a healthy salad?
Below are some suggestions I found helpful during recent research.
Surprisingly, iceberg lettuce has almost no nutritional value. It’s better to use a variety of darker greens like spinach, leaf lettuce, arugula, kale, watercress and basil leaves in creating the base of your healthy salad. It’s important to select dark leaves, because they are rich in folate, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Croutons and bacon bits are commonly used to give salads some unique crunch. However, croutons have tons of calories and bacon bits contain unwanted fats. If you wish to add some crunch to your healthy salad, walnuts or flax seeds may be a better alternative. Both have omega 3 fatty acids that are helpful for your heart and nervous system and are wonderful ways for your body to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Many fast food place and restaurants will advertise salads with meat. While adding cooked meat to a salad can be fine, deep frying it before-hand could mean extra fat and calories on your salad plate. If wanting to make or order a healthy salad, double check that any meat placed inside the mix is fresh and not fried or processed.
Salads are usually topped with a bit of dressing, but since salad dressings are generally high in calories, you need to watch your portion size. One healthy salad idea would be to forgo the salad dressing and squeeze some fresh lemon and lime juice on your salad, or use some salsa as a topping.
These are just some of the ways that you can make sure that your salad stays healthy and beneficial for your body.