Did you know that sometimes salad is NOT the healthiest choice? Unfortunately, restaurants don’t always know how to make a healthy salad. Sure it’ll contain lettuce and maybe some shredded carrots or spinach… but it’s what else is added to the salad that counts.
Just like unhealthy smoothies, don’t let an unhealthy salad sabotage your weight loss goals.
Because salad can easily be super healthy! You just need to add good ingredients to it. Here’s your handy guide for how to make a healthy salad:
Step 1—Use Vegetables and Fruits
The base of your salad should be made of mostly leafy greens and other raw veggies. Some examples could be:
- mixed greens (opt for the darkest, leafiest greens you can find)
- sugar snap peas
- bell peppers
- green beans
- shredded carrots
And many, many more! It’s fun to pick and choose the veggies you like the most and combine them to your liking. Since vegetables only contain an average of 25 calories per serving and are full of vitamins and minerals like fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, you’re free to go crazy! There’s a reason these are on our anti-aging diet list.
After you’ve loaded up on veggies, fruits are a great second addition. They add even more nutrition plus some sweetness to your salads. Some good fruit ideas include:
- tangerines or oranges
P.S. Don’t forget that even while eating a healthy, salad-centric diet, our modern farming methods don’t always guarantee you’ll absorb all the goodness. That’s why it’s smart to take a high-quality fulvic acid supplement like Mimi’s Miracle Minerals.
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Step 2—Add Protein
I’ll often hear people say salads don’t fill them up. When this is the case, it’s probably because there wasn’t enough calories or protein to be filling. So, add protein and watch your salad transform into a nutrient-dense, super satisfying dish. Some good protein sources include:
- hard-boiled eggs (or egg whites)
- grilled salmon or chicken
- roasted turkey breast
- baked tofu
- marinated (or plain) tempeh
- Lentils or beans, such as garbanzo beans or black beans
Add about three ounces of protein per serving of salad. And make sure it is always baked or broiled—never crispy or fried.
Step 3—Add Healthy Extras
This is the area that makes many salads go from healthy to borderline heart attack. In fact, extras are usually what raises the calories of a salad by around 600. Popular extras include pepperonis, cottage cheese, fried noodles, croutons, avocado, bacon, candied nuts, or shredded cheese.
Instead, use healthy extras that give your salad more texture without the unhealthy calories and fat. Here are some options to try:
- grains like brown rice, quinoa, or couscous
- nuts and seeds
- small amounts of dried fruit like raisins or cranberries
- chopped cilantro
- low-fat whole grain crackers
Step 4—Use a Healthy Dressing
The dressing is often what makes the salad. But sadly, the dressings are also what often contribute to a high caloric content. For example, a whole packet of ranch dressing at restaurant can add about 200-300 more calories to a salad!
However, this can remedied by using a low-fat and therefore lower-calorie dressing instead, such as a vinaigrette or honey mustard. The best option is to whip up your own using lemon or vinegar mixed with some olive oil and herbs and spices.
When you know how to make a healthy salad, the possibilities become endless—and they can be a lot of fun to put together!