Salad may seem like the healthier lunch option, but don’t be fooled.
All too often, the salads available for purchase offer a poor balance of nutrition. Salads sound healthy, but if they are not offering colourful vegetables, lean protein, good fats, and moderate amounts of carbohydrates, they may not be as ‘light’ as you think they are.
Although salads can provide you with plenty of vegetables, protein and good fats, some salads could actually provide close to a whole days requirement of fat, salt, and sugar… not necessarily a ‘healthy’ meal as you may assume.
When ordering or making salads yourself, there are a few simple things you could do to ensure you are getting maximum nutrition in minimal calories. This includes:
- Asking for your dressing on the side
- Adding a sprinkle of nuts/seeds
- Adding 1/4 of an avocado
- Ensuring that the protein you add is a lean and quality piece (this could mean grilled chicken (not bacon), tuna drained from the oil, an egg, or legumes such as chickpeas, beans or lentils).
Some salads have too much carbohydrates, so if you’re seated in the office all day and are trying to lose weight, order rice/quinoa/couscous etc on the side and base your salads around vegies.
Lets take for instance the very popular ‘Chicken Caesar Salad.’ Bacon, cheese, croutons (often fried), oil, the Caesar creamy dressing – this isn’t exactly the idea of a healthy salad. You would find that a mere 1C of Caesar salad (the size of your regular coffee cup) contains 26g of fat, offers very little protein and dietary fibre, and contains hardly any nutritionally-dense vegetables. It’s time to think twice about your salad choices.
Should salad be part of your healthy diet? Yes
Can it be part of your healthy diet? YES.
These few tips will ensure that you’re on the path to a healthier lifestyle.