Are you making these salad mistakes?
Salads can be a great appetizer or a meal and are a great way to fit in five fruits and vegetables a day. Salads can also be a trap of healthy eating for those trying to keep it light. If you aren’t careful, that innocent salad could pack more calories than a cheese steak sandwich with fries. Or, if you eat the same salad every day, you might not be getting all the potential health benefits that a salad can offer.
Building a satisfying and nutritious salad can be easy, but it’s important to know what you need and what you should skip, especially when it comes to weight loss! Fix these common mistakes, and you’ll be in much better shape when lunch or dinner rolls around.
You Choose a Weak Green
While iceberg or romaine offer hydration to your plate, the real nutrition comes from fiber- and nutrient-rich leafy greens like kale, mixed greens, or spinach. If you’re not sure which is which, just opt for a darker color on the salad bar! If all of one green is too much for your taste buds, then try mixing two together for a little variety.
You Don’t Add Enough Protein
The right amount of protein can make or break your salad. If you pile on gorgeous greens and produce with no protein to be seen, you’re going to be hungry soon after you’re done eating. Lean meat and fish are great options, but if you’re following a vegetarian diet, try beans, tofu, plain Greek yogurt, edamame, cottage cheese, peanuts or eggs.
You Don’t Add Any Good Fat
Steering clear of all fat is doing your body an injustice. It may sound counter intuitive, but eating the mono- and polyunsaturated fats can keep you healthy and satisfied. Foods like walnuts, avocado, and olive oil are all plant-based sources of those omega-3-rich fats, and remember that a little goes a long way.
You Pour the Dressing on Thick
Even if your salad is full of healthy nutrient-rich ingredients, pouring on a heaping helping of unhealthy dressing can change your meal very fast. The front of your favorite store-bought bottle may boast low-calorie and low-fat benefits, but when you read the nutritional information and ingredient list, it’s often a very different story. Keep portion sizes in check, and consider making your own dressing at home.
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