- Eating salads are a good way to load up on dietary fiber, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, beneficial phytochemicals and other important nutrients.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables have a high water content, so salads are hydrating and also low in calories.
Picking Your Greens:
- Vary the greens in your salads. Red and green lettuces are fine, but use other varieties too, such as chopped Romaine, arugula and baby herbs.
- A blend of lettuces may protect best against free radicals.
- Skip the faucet. Swirl greens in a bowl of cold water instead of rinsing them under running water. Softer lettuces are less likely to get smushed plus the bath is better for loosening any grit.
- Dry every time. Any moisture will prevent dressings from coating the leaves. Whirl off the water in a salad spinner or use the hands-off approach by letting washed greens chill in a clean kitchen towel in the fridge for an hour.
- Ditch the tongs as they can bruise leaves. Instead first place dressing in the bottom of a big bowl, then top with the greens and gently toss them over and around using the fingertips of both hands.
Packing in Protein:
- One protein is all you need. Choose a serving of meat, fish, beans, or cheese to prevent extra calories & fat.
- Examples of healthful plant sources of protein: garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, slivered almonds or soy nuts.
- Stick with crunchy toppers like celery, peppers, and cucumbers to get the best healthy boost.
- Skip croutons, noodles, and tortilla strips.
More Fruits & Veggies:
- Sliced, cooked beets or chunks of butternut squash, tomato wedges, corn cut off the cob, grated carrots, chopped bell pepper, cold, sliced potatoes, and string beans
- Apple, pineapple, mango, or berries
- Pick 1/4 cup of pomegranate over raisins to save 18 grams of sugar
Flavoring with (healthy) Fat:
- MUFAs help you absorb carotenoids found in veggies like spinach & carrots.
- Instead of traditional oil try 10 olives, 12 almonds, 7 walnut halves, or 1/4 avocado which is equivalent to 1-2 teaspoons of oil.
- Making your own dressing is the easiest way to avoid excess sugar and chemical emulsifiers
Not Your Traditional Leafy Green Salads:
- Vinegar-based coleslaw, three-bean salad, pasta salad, cucumber and tomato salad, tortellini salad, black bean salad and others.
- Sauteed, cooked summer vegetables such as yellow squash and zucchini squash, red, yellow and green bell peppers, onions and garlic.
- Fruit salad. Fresh strawberry halves are a great choice. Also try fresh figs and red or yellow raspberries.
Use in Moderation (If At All):
- Toppings like bacon, cheese, croutons and creamy dressings can result in a higher calorie count than a burger and fries
- “Anatomy of a Healthy Salad.” Prevention. August 2015. 44.
- Jones, Anna. (2014, June 16). “Summer is Salad Season.” Retrieved from http://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/wellness/2014/06/16/summer-salad-season/10606275/
- Adimando, Stacy. “Salad Rules.” Self. June 2014. 94.
- Hobbs, Suzanne H. (2014, June 3). “Pack summer menus with salads.” Retrieved from http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/06/03/3906776/pack-summer-menus-with-salads.html
- Pezzotti, Doris. (2014, July 22). “A ‘healthy halo’ hanging over certain food choices may be a less than healthy illusion.” Retrieved from http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2014/07/a_healthy_halo_on_certain_food.html