Not every salad is created equal; here's how to make yours as nutritious as possible.
It's a common myth that tricks dieters all the time: salads can't be anything but good for you. Wrong! Unfortunately, many salads can be just as high-calorie and fatty as a burger and fries. If you truly want a nutritious bowl of greens and veggies, these guidelines are for you.
- Choose a dark green foundation. Iceberg lettuce offers little nutritional value. It may fill you up without piling on the calories, but you can do much better. Go for romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, or kale.
- Watch out for high-calorie toppings. Some common salad ingredients are good for you, but only in moderation. Cheese, nuts, seeds, and avocados all have their place, but if you overdo them, you'll have a calorie overload.
- Pick a salad dressing wisely. Calorie counts for a single serving can range from 22 to 300. Read labels before you make a decision.
- Don't include processed foods. Restaurants often top their salads with Fritos or other high-sodium chips, sunflower seeds, or croutons. Skip these whenever you can.
- Add a lot of color. Your body needs a variety of veggies in its diet. You know you're on the right track when your salad includes greens, oranges, reds, yellows, and purples.