- Use salad dressings made with olive oil.
- Sprinkle salad with sunflower or sesame seeds instead of bacon bits or croutons.
- Use olives to add flavor.
- Try a slice of avocado.
A Answers (6)
Intermountain Healthcare answeredHere's how to make your salad healthier:
To make a healthy salad start with a dark leafy greens like romaine, spinach or Boston Bibb lettuces. They’re chock full of healthy vitamins like A, E, K and riboflavin, a B vitamin and they can add a crisp, delicious base to your salad. Next, add colorful raw vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, tomatoes, and bell pepper strips. If you will be eating the salad as your dinner entrée, add lean protein choices like grilled tofu, chicken, fish, or beef tenderloin. To dress your salad watch your portion and use a salad dressing and use mono or polyunsaturated fats like olive or canola oil. Adding these types of fats (which also include olives, nuts, and avocado) will help with absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
Keri Gans, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredBegin with a cup of leafy greens, which are rich in folate, a B vitamin needed for the growth of healthy cells. The darker the greens, the better (but if you don’t like them, don’t use them). Then add bright-hued veggies—tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and red, yellow, or orange bell peppers. The more colorful the veggies, the more health-promoting phytochemicals they contain.
Find out more about this book:The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You
Doreen Rodo, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
Make a salad using all colors of the rainbow. You can include: Romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, purple cabbage, all colors of peppers, onions, and any other favorite fresh vegetables. To add variety to you salad add: avocado, strawberries, apples, cran raisins, broccoli slaw or even some shredded cabbage mix to the top. Small amounts of feta, blue cheese or toasted nuts can be added for flavor. Make a healthier dressing using olive oil, herbs, lemon juice and spices.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics answeredSalads make a nutritious meal or side dish. But dressings and toppings can sometimes turn a healthy salad into a helping of calories and fat.
Here are some tips for getting the most nutrition from your salad:
- Cut the fat. Ranch, bleu cheese, French and thousand island dressings have as many as 16 grams of fat and 150 calories in 2 tablespoons. Choose low-fat dressings and limit the amount you use to a few tablespoons or even create your own with lemon juice or vinegar and just a touch of olive oil. Also limit added cheese.
- Bacon is a favorite topping but contains a lot of fat. Lean proteins like turkey, chicken, crabmeat or tuna can add delicious flavor to a salad without a lot of fat. Beans like black, garbanzo, kidney, pinto and white beans are good sources of lean protein too.
- Pile on the veggies. Brightly colored vegetables are great sources of nutrients, fiber and phytonutrients. Broccoli, peppers, beets and carrots add flavor, texture and help fill you up.
- Sweeten it up. Oranges, apples and grapes add a sweet touch to a salad as well as vitamins and nutrients. But dried fruits like raisins and cranberries and candied nuts often boost added sugars, so use these sparingly.
Cheryl Tallman, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredYou may have heard people comment that lettuce is just empty calories. This is just not true. While iceberg lettuce is not a nutritional powerhouse, other salad greens are nutritional champions.
As a general rule, the darker the leaves, the more nutritious the salad green. Just as an example, romaine and watercress have seven times as much beta-carotene, two to four times as much calcium, and twice the amount of potassium as iceberg lettuce.
By simply choosing a variety of salad greens you use in your salads, you can enhance the nutritional content and enjoy new tastes and textures. Give it try!
At the market: You want to buy salad greens that have been picked recently. A great place to buy salad greens is a farmers' market or farm stand. Look for clean, fresh looking cut ends. You don't want anything that looks rusty, dried-out or wilted. Crisp, bright-looking leaves are good too. Firm or solid-feeling heads of lettuce are best.
Storage at home: For wilt-free lettuce with maximum crunch thoroughly wash and dry your lettuce as soon you bring it home. Roll the leaves in several layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, seal in a plastic bag, and store in the "crisper" of your refrigerator for up to 1 week. Iceberg lettuce will keep up to 2 weeks.
Here are some simple, delicious salad green ideas for the whole family:
- Lettuce Cups: Both Boston and Bibb lettuce make perfect "cups" for grilled fish, shrimp, or tofu. Serve with diced vegetables and your favorite salad dressing to drizzle on top. These lettuce cups also make "green" taco shells, just fill them up with all your favorite taco fixings -- muy delicioso!
- Tossed Salads: Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and onions are the traditional ingredients for a tossed salad. There are many more exciting options. Starting with a nice variety of salad greens in your bowl, add a few mix-in items and you'll transform the tired tossed salad into a great side dish.
Here are some of our favorite tossed salad mix-in combinations:
- Cooked corn, black beans, diced red peppers, and crumbled tortilla chips
- Mandarin oranges, diced green onions, and blanched almond pieces
- Diced pears, chopped dates, crumbled blue cheese, and chopped walnuts
- Green apple slices, dried cranberries, and cheddar cheese cubes
- Mango slices, grilled shitake mushrooms, and sesame seeds