Say NO, Unhealthy Salad Options
Looking to drop a few pounds? Well, eating more salad in general is a great idea, as salad is packed with greens and fiber to keep you full and regular. Remember it's not a free-for-all when you're choosing those toppings. There are certain ingredients that are healthier than others, so you'll want to make sure you're garnishing properly to reap all those weight-loss benefits. That means: swap out the bacon bits and heavy creams and go lighter.
Want to top a salad with protein? Meats, like turkey breast or chicken, can be a good option. But, deli meats are high in sodium and nitrates, making them not so great for your nutrition goals.
For instance, There are 60 calories per two-ounce turkey breast, but 510 mg sodium. And in three ounces of pork salami, you'll find 1,080 mg sodium and close to 300 calories. A better option is to try eggs. They're one of the only food sources of vitamin D (from the yolk), and the whites have filling protein for not a lot of calories: 70-80 calories per hard-boiled egg,
Nuts coated in sugar are a NO NO! Sugar-coating adds harmful calories to an otherwise superhealthy food. A healthier choice would be fresh fruit for a sweet fix. Try adding grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and mandarin orange segments. Oh and don't go dried either! Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories.
Yes, adding greens to pasta is a good diet trick, as it reduces the amount of pasta you'd be eating in favor of leafy greens and fiber. The pasta is weighing down your healthy salad and is taking up valuable space that could be used for extra greens and protein.
If you really need a grain, choose something that contains a good amount of protein and fiber. Adding quinoa or other great whole-grain options to a salad are wild rice, farro, barley, and sorghum. Their fiber and B vitamins will keep you full and energized.
Stay away from the Caesar or ranch dressing. Creamy, store-bought dressings like a Caesar can contain excessive amounts of preservatives, fat, and added sugars in comparison to a lovely flavorful herb dressing made with olive oil and a little mustard at home. Two tablespoons = 180 calories, 18 grams total fat, 290 gm sodium. Try making your own or go with olive oil.
Veggies don't automatically mean healthy, as it depends on the preparation. Instead of those bacon bits and fried onions, get the crunch you crave with the heart healthy goodness from nuts, like roasted and salted pistachios. The green and purple hues provide a lovely pop of color to your salads and come from antioxidants, the good guys that help fight off of free radicals