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How To Prepare A Healthy Salad

We all think of salad as a healthy meal choice, especially when we are trying to lose weight or get fitter. But just because something is put on a salad, it does not automatically mean that it is healthy and good for you. Let me show you the most nutritious salad items to put on your plate, and the salad foods you should be wary of.

Salad Foods To Avoid

Salad foods are generally perceived as healthy, but some of them are laden with fat and calories. You should consider avoiding the following foods or eating them in very small quantities. Another option is to swap these foods with like for like healthy low fat / reduced fat alternatives.

Here are some salad items to be very wary of if it is your intention to lose weight and adopt a healthier diet:

  • Salad dressings and oils.
  • Cheese.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Coleslaw
  • Potato Salad
  • Salad Cream
  • Croutons
  • Mayonnaise

Healthy Salad Choices

Your salad plate should be mostly made up mainly with healthy greens which have a high water content, and leave you full and satisfied. Your salad should include some of the following:

  • Lettuce.
  • Cucumber.
  • Spinach.
  • Red Cabbage.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Green Beans.
  • Onions.
  • Beetroot.
  • Peppers.
  • Mushrooms.

Add Protein To Your Salad

Adding some protein to your salad can give it some real taste and variety as well as keeping hunger at bay for hours afterwards. The following foods are low in fat and a great source of protein:

  • Sliced ham or turkey.
  • Tuna (stored in water)
  • Grilled Chicken.
  • Egg Whites.
  • Boiled Shrimp
  • Grilled Salmon
  • Walnuts

Add Nutrition With Fruit

Adding some fruit to your salad will not only pack more nutrition into your salad, but it may even satisfy those cravings for sweet treats. Get a little creative with your salad and add one of the following fruits to your salad:

  • Strawberries.
  • Orange Segments.
  • Apple Slices.
  • Melon.
  • Kiwi Fruit.
  • Cranberries.
  • Grapes.

Beware Of Creamy Dressings

Salad dressings (especially those that are sour cream or mayo based) can turn the healthiest of salads into a high calories disaster. It is very hard to control our calorie intake when we drizzle these high-fat dressings all over our salad. They are very high in saturated fat, raising cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of heart disease. If you have to have one, carefully measure out a serving and avoid pouring or dipping into a pot throughout your meal. You could look for a reduced-fat dressing, but be careful to check the sugar and calorie content as it may not be as healthy as you think. You could always use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to create your own healthy dressing.

You could also use a healthy portion of green salad as a substitute to fries with a meal. Now you know how to prepare a healthy salad and which salad foods to avoid, make salad a regular part of your diet and healthy lifestyle.

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