We've all been there. You're trying to lose weight, trying to be healthy, or trying to break the habit of eating a lunch filled with bread and regret. You reach for a bowl with some green stuff in it and start munching away, and tah-dah you are a health guru.
Well, maybe not so much. Do you ever wonder why you are not reaching your health and fitness goals even though you "just had a salad" for lunch or dinner? Maybe it's time to start thinking about what you put in your salad.
Here are some salad additions that can make your apparently "healthy" dishes definite pants tighteners.
Alright people, come on. You skipped the pizza for a reason, didn't you? Don't pile a mound of cheddar onto your salad and call it a salad.
That being said, adding a little bit of lower fat cheese such as feta, goat cheese, or mozzarella can actually be a satiating and creamy source of protein to add in.
Nuts are a staple in any healthy diet for their healthy fat content, but keep your eye on the serving size. A salad filled with a cup of candied nuts is going to skyrocket the calorie count of your salad to the point where you might as well go back and get that slice of pizza (okay maybe not, but you get my point).
Instead, try to stick to a few raw or lightly roasted and salted nuts. If you want to get some texture throughout your whole salad, try some slivered almonds. The calorie and fat count will stay on the low side, but you won't miss out on the crunch or nut nutrients.
3. Creamy Dressing
There are so many dressings to pick from these days, from balsamic, to Italian, to raspberry vinaigrette. There is nothing wrong with adding some flavor to your salad with a flavorful dressing, but dowsing all your vitamin and mineral rich greens and veggies with creamy honey ranch is bit counterproductive.
Opt out of cream based dressings and try to stick with oils such as olive oil, vinegars, or light vinaigrettes. If you really want to switch it up, flavor your salad with hummus or tabbouleh instead.
For some reason a lot of salads these days have tortilla chip pieces in them, or even have a tortilla chip bowl as a vehicle for the entire salad. Don't get me wrong, it is a brilliant idea and a fiesta in your mouth, but not the healthiest way to bring some texture into your salad.
To get your crunch fix (besides nuts, as mentioned above), try adding some seeds, crisp fruits and veggies such as apples or snap peas, or roasted chickpeas.
5. Anything Fried
Fried foods contain a lot of excess fat that is not needed in your salad. You know the grease that you dab off your slice of pizza before you eat it? The fried chicken you put on your salad is full of fat like that.
Fill your salad with healthy fats from nuts, seeds, or avocados, rather than fryer grease. If you usually top your salad with fried chicken for the crunch, switch to grilled chicken and add a different crunch factor such as those listed above.
Okay yes I know bacon bits are little specks of pork fat heaven, but come on, you know bacon is not known for its slimming qualities. I honestly don't have a substitute for bacon to offer you because, well, it's bacon. Just leave it out of your salads.
Make these salad adjustments and your salad will not only make you happy while you're eating it, but you'll also feel happier and healthier afterwards.