In a perfect world, every salad would be a delicious step toward eating healthier and meeting your target fitness goals ― but that doesn’t always happen. Salads can be a great source of fresh, healthy vegetables and important nutrition, but they can also include a lot of unhealthy additives and unnecessary, high-calorie ingredients. This can make it difficult to make a tasty salad on a diet ― but Herbalife Nutrition has tips to help you out!
Choose Darker, More Interesting Greens
While lettuce is fine, it’s still mostly water and contains relatively little nutrition compared to other leafy green options. A salad can be incredible when it combines multiple rich flavors from different greens, so start experimenting! A “spring mix” or similar bagged greens easily found at your local market is a good place to begin, but you can also try adding more greens to your own lettuce base. Spinach, kale, watercress, and arugula are all popular beginner options.
Oil or Salad Dressing?
Both are high-calorie choices, but usually flavored oils are healthier for you than any type of salad dressing ― and will go a longer way in your salad! Oil combinations (like the famous balsamic vinaigrette, a little mustard, or a honey mix) are also a great way to add more taste to your salad. But avoid adding too much oil: A drizzle is usually enough! Always make your own oil or dressing whenever possible since most store-bought versions are far from healthy.
Go Easy on High-Calorie Ingredients
Toppings like nuts, avocado, croutons, chips, and olives may make salads tastier, but they add a ton of calories. As a general rule, choose just one of these high-calorie ingredients, and save the others for another salad ― even if you’re going light on salad dressing. If possible, avoid unnecessary high-calorie add-ons like cheese, but if you do indulge in one of these ingredients, make sure you still follow the “only one” rule!
Expand Your Vegetable Horizons
There’s really no limit to the veggies you can include in a salad. Corn, mushrooms, peppers, peas, onions ― the list goes on forever. If you have leftover cooked vegetables or veggies in the fridge that you need to eat, don’t hesitate to put them in a salad. You’ll find some amazing combinations this way.
Add a Little Protein to Help Make the Salad Filling
Do salads often leave you feeling hungry? Add a little protein to help give you that full feeling ― and fuel your exercise routine! A sprinkling of black beans, seasoned tofu, or roasted chicken pieces makes salads taste great and provides healthy protein, too. Herbalife Nutrition shakes are also a great way to add protein to your diet.
Try to Avoid Ordering Large Salads at Restaurants
At restaurants, the main goal is to make main-dish salads taste great. And that usually involves adding a lot of oils and rich flavors. The average restaurant salad usually has just as many calories as other dishes ― that Cobb salad may make you feel good, but it won’t help you meet your dietary goals. Instead, choose from the restaurant’s selection of side salads, which are usually much smaller but can still be filling.