Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the “holy grail” of dieting foods. Salads are glorious, but also can wind up being less nutritious and a higher calorie meal than that sandwich you really want. Here’s how to build a beautiful and healthy salad.
- Greens: The greener the salad the better! Leafy greens such as spinach and kale provide the most vitamins such as A, C, K, and phytonutrients. If you don’t love kale, that’s okay! At least try mixing half and half.
- Lean Protein: I see a lot of people skip this component and wonder why they are still starving after their meal. Protein provides fullness and “bulk” to the salad creating a more balanced meal. Chicken, turkey, lean ground meats, deli meats, cottage cheese, eggs, tofu, and beans are all wonderful options. Stick to a 3-6 oz. serving.
- Colorful Fruits and Vegetables: This is the time to boost fiber, vitamins and minerals! The more colors the better, as every color has something different to offer. Eat the rainbow with a variety of produce that is red, yellow, orange, green blue, purple and white.
This is where things get tricky and calories can creep up the most. When adding multiple sources of higher fat/high calorie toppings, try prioritizing 1-3 (depending on portions and hunger). We can think of it as picking and choosing our battles. Which toppings do you most enjoy?
Below are some tips for building a healthier salad by being mindful of salad toppings.