Ways in which you are ruining your salad and your diet

You are changing your life style to a healthier one and you find that salads are more easy and quick to cook … so you stick to your preferred salad recipes for a few weeks. Then you get bored and you start adding all kinds of unhealthy ingredients just so you make it tastier and you end up ruining your diet progress. What's worse is that you don't even realise you are making this mistakes. With this in mind I have written this blog article where I discuss about the ways you are making your salad unhealthy and how you can replace the unhealthy ingredients you might be using.

6 ways you are ruining your salad

1. Unhealthy dressing

What is a salad without a dressing? Just some vegetables in a bowl. Salad dressing is what makes your salad be tasty, less dry and easier to eat. However, to much dressing or choosing an unhealthy commercial dressing can ruin your salad. These salad dressing, which you can find supermarkets are high in fat, sugar, preservatives and calories (one serving can range between 100 and 200 calories).

Tips & tricks for your salad

Avoid dressing salads such as Caesar, Ranch or any dressings that are creamier, even if these are home made. These contain high levels of sodium and saturated fat. Also, avoid buying salad dressings from supermarkets, even if it’s just a simple vinaigrette. Instead create your own dressing from olive oil, some lemon juice, salt and a few Mediterranean herbs.

2.  You choose the wrong greens

Ok, so you would probably think what could be wrong with the greens I add in my salad. The tendency is to use as a salad base iceberg or cos salad. I hate to break it to you but, these greens have no nutritional
value, these are just a source of water. Tips & tricks for your salad

Yes, the texture of iceberg or cos salad is nice and crunchy and it makes it more enjoyable to eat but you don’t get much out of their leafs. As a simple rule, you should go for greens that are darker in colour, such as kale, spinach, arugula, watercress, leaf lettuce or basil leaves. These greens are high in vitamin A, B-complex vitamin and minerals.

3.  The proteins you add in your salad

There are 2 ways you can go wrong with proteins in your salad:
  • You either don’t include any proteins in your salad, which will result in you getting hungry very quick after you had your lunch / dinner. 
  • Or you use unhealthy proteins full of fat and salt such as deep fried meat or processed meats
Tips & tricks for your salad
My first recommendation is to include proteins in your salad, as these help to keep you feel fuller for longer so you don’t get hungry and you avoid cravings. My second recommendation is to use as your source of protein:
  • Grilled chicken, turkey, beef, fish or seafood
  • Beans, mushrooms or tofu if you are vegetarian 

4.  You go overboard with your cheese

Cheese is a healthy option for your salad, as it’s a source of protein and calcium. But there is such a thing as too much cheese, when we talk about our diets. The reason for this is the high amount of sodium, saturated fat, and calories in cheese.

Also as I was saying in my previous article, “Abdominal Bloating: Cause And Tips To Reduce Or Eliminate Bloating”, our stomach can struggle to digest dairy products, such as cheese. This can lead to digestive problems and bloating. So, it’s important to reduce the amount of cheese you consume.

Tips & tricks for your salad

Don’t add in your salad more than 30 grams of cheese, and try to use Parmesan, mozzarella or a salt-reduced feta cheese.

5. You add croutons

Croutons will help you feel fuller in a short time. However, croutons have no nutritional value, they can be full of salt and not to mention these are high in calories.

Tips & tricks for your salad

As croutons add some crunchiness to your salad you can swap these for seeds and nuts. Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and healthy fats. Some of these nuts and seeds (such as the walnuts) have high amounts of Omega-3 fats and fibre.

6. You add to many nuts and seeds

Now that you swapped the croutons for nuts, you also need to be careful about the amount you use in your salad. You shouldn’t have a nuts and seeds salad topped with some vegetables, it should be the other way around. 

Tips & tricks for your salad

As a simple rule go for a tablespoon of seeds and nuts. Also, make sure you use seeds and nuts that are raw and free of salt. 

Salads are associated with diets and healthy eating, but you have to be careful what you include in your salad to stay healthy. Now that you know some basic rules, I encourage you to start experimenting with salad recipes by using different greens, vegetables, good proteins, seeds and nuts, and find the recipes you like.

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