Myth or truth?
You may believe that eating a salad will save you calories and make your meal healthier. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. By better analyzing the meal you will consume, even if it is a salad, you can find calories that you hadn’t even thought about.
What are the “bad” salads?
Salads with cured meats: There are many choices of salads on the market that contain bacon or prosciutto, and even some local products such as Pataki. These foods can increase the caloric content of the salad and make it an unhealthier meal as they contain a lot of salt. They are also good sources of trans and saturated fatty acids.
Salads with cheese: In this case, you have to be smart! Most restaurant menus contain a variety of salads that usually include cheese. The same thing happens in the salad you make. It is important to pay attention to the cheese you will consume and not to avoid its consumption.
Salads with nuts and/or avocado: Many times we have mentioned the beneficial effect of nuts and avocado. And it is true that these foods contain many nutrients and are rich sources of good fatty acids that the body needs. Nevertheless, these foods can skyrocket the caloric content of the salad you choose if they exceed the moderate consumption they should have.
Salads with dressing: It is true that all the salads you will find in restaurants are accompanied by some kind of sauce. Most of the time they may contain mayonnaise and enough oil. Olive oil is also a product that contains important nutrients necessary for the human body, but its high consumption leads to a significant increase in the calories you will receive.
When is a salad healthy?
Make a proper base: Choose fresh vegetables, and give a base to green salads such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, brussels sprouts, and arugula. You can add cucumber and tomato (be careful with tomatoes, as they contain more sugar).
Add the carb: A good easy option for your salads is the carob nut. It has a low glycemic index and can give a different flavor to your meal. Very good sources of complex carbohydrates are oatmeal and quinoa. They are easy to process and you can make a quantity, store it in your fridge and use it whenever you want. The wheat will also give your salad a more special taste. Rich in nutrients, it can be easily combined with many ingredients and taken off your salad.
Add a good source of protein: Protein is an essential ingredient that your meal needs to contain in order to reach a point of satiety and not get hungry quickly. You can add animal protein such as chicken breast, tuna fillet, egg, or low-fat cheese. Alternatively, if you like different flavors, you can try shrimp or crab meat. If you are a fan of vegetable protein, you can choose a legume that, by combining it with the rest of the ingredients, enhances the absorption of protein in your body. Try a salad with chickpeas or lentils, you will surely go crazy!
Add good fatty acids: As mentioned above, nuts, avocados, and olive oil are products that can increase the calories you will consume. However, you can definitely add some of them, paying attention to the amount, so that you can give your body the nutrients it needs. Healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) have other benefits for the body. They can help improve cholesterol and help you lose weight and keep it at normal levels.
Some examples of healthy fat sources:
- 1 tbsp peanut butter.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 20-24 almonds
- 20 pecan halves
- 14 walnuts
- ¼ avocado
- 100g salmon
Add the sauce: You can make delicious and light dressings that will give a different touch to your salads! With 2% yogurt and mustard or balsamic vinegar and orange. Always measured and careful quantities and you can give deliciousness that will take her off. Tahini and lemon, tahini and soy, or avocado and yogurt are other classic options.
In conclusion, light and healthy, the salad, as it looks, needs attention because it can trick you and make you…overheated. But when you know the tricks and the basic rules, you can put it on the table not only as a side dish but also as a complete – in terms of nutrients and taste – meal.