Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Salads are the best way to avoid loads of extra calories and fat. A salad is made with healthy greens, colorful vegetables and lean protein is a great choice for a healthy and calorie controlled meal.
The problem is, we often hide behind our salads and load them up with ingredients that taste good but can actually have more fat and calories than pizza or burgers.
Here's a typical salad starting with dark greens: Adding a variety of colorful vegetables, like carrots, mushrooms, peppers, cucumbers, along with a lean protein like grilled chicken is a great way to pack in nutrients, save calories and fill you up at the same time.
A salad this size with some low fat dressing runs about 400 calories. You can cut even more calories by using the "dip and scoop" technique with your dressing - dip your fork in a side dressing then scoop up some greens. But watch how fast those calories add up with the variety of salad extras. These include healthy choices like avocado, seeds and nuts, dried fruits, low fat cheeses, as well as fun foods like croutons and bacon bits.
Use a teaspoon to get "just a taste", and you'll be doubling or tripling your salad calories. Just enjoy a salad with a solid foundation of dark green lettuce, colorful fresh veggies and lean protein, and save higher calorie foods for a garnish on the side.