Yes, salads are healthy, but is is very possible that you are making what was once a healthy meal choice, into a not so healthy one. It can be just as easy to make a healthy nutritious stress free salad, and with our tips there will be no more salad sabotage.
Using store bought dressings
This is probably the biggest scam for the salad industry, store bought dressings and sauces are one the main causes of salad sabotage. Store bought salad dressings are riddled with nasty additives and preservative that can reek havoc on your body. Here are the ingredients you need to be looking out for in your “low calorie” dressings:
- Corn syrup
- Xanthan Gum or Food starch
- Canola Oil and/or Soybean oil
If any label claims to be “fat free” then its almost guaranteed that your dressing is full of sugars, thickeners and flavourings. Your best and safest bet to avoid these nasty additives is to avoid all store bought dressings all together. A quick and simple solution is to use Apple Cider Vinegar with a small amount of olive oil. Another tip is to add any homemade dressing into a spray bottle and spray your salads with the dressing, this will avoid overuse whilst still evenly coating your salad.
Protein should make up approximately 30% of your salad. Lean protein choices such as fresh tuna, grilled/poached chicken or salmon are fantastic protein options to add to your salad. Vegetarian? Try adding edamame to your salad, edamame is high protein and adds a fantastic texture to any salad. Making sure there is a sufficient serving of protein in your salads will keep you feeling fuller for longer! Avoid adding poor quality proteins that have been cured, salted, smoked, dried or canned; protein such as bacon, processed meats or ham are inclusive of these. Preservatives and additives in processed meats can have a toxic affect on our body, these include; nitrites, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines and salt, diets high in these substances are linked with negative health outcomes.
Hold back on the extras
Extras such as dried fruits, candied fruits and salted/flavoured nuts will all add a satisfying crunch to your salad but are also ruining all your conscious efforts to be healthy. Try replacing these with fresh fruits and vegetables which can be equally crunchy, healthy and flavourful.
Yes, dairy is one of the 5 main food groups that is recommended we consume daily for optimal health, and yes cheese is high protein but somewhere down the line people have forgotten that cheese is extremely high in fat!! The best cheeses to [sparingly] add to your salad include ricotta, Swiss cheese or goats cheese.
Most people make the mistake with thinking that their salad is not a sufficient meal and will not keep them satisfied. This is usually when a slice of white bread or croutons are unwisely added. Not only does white bread have no nutritional benefits, it will cause a rapid peak in blood glucose levels which is ALWAYS followed by a plateau in energy levels.
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