How To Make A Healthy Salad
Most of the time salad can be a great alternative when you’re eating out, or for a quick lunch on the go. While this can be helpful, it can also be hurtful. Salads have the potential to be packed with sugars, high fat or unnatural ingredients found in cheeses, dressings or toppings.
Lindsay Gilbert, Head Trainer at Burn Boot Camp Millbrook, demonstrates 5 ways to make the perfect salad while staying clean, and how to choose the best option at a restaurant.
Romaine lettuce is a common type of lettuce for salads, but has little to no nutritional value. Rule number one is to choose a lettuce that has nutritional value and follows the ANDI score. Lindsay gives us a superfood greens, organic option.
By choosing a base with high nutrient value, you’re replenishing the vitamins and minerals that your body might be lacking. You can even buy it readily mixed and chopped!
Toppings are the biggest culprit when it comes to making a salad unhealthy. Many people love to use nuts and avocado as toppings, but completely over-do it. It’s important to keep your fats controlled.
Instead, top your salad with vegetables first. Red, yellow, and white onions are great in a salad, as well as cucumbers, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, and more! For crunch, stay away from croutons and add some crunchy vegetables like cabbage/broccoli slaw.
Protein is the most important part of your salad. Without a protein source, you’re not going to feel full for long. Burn Boot Camp trainers are experienced with helping you understand your macronutrient values. If you’re questioning how much protein you should be eating, begin with 100 grams per day and talk to your trainer.
You have the potential to add 40 grams of proteins to your salad. Chopped chicken breast and lean turkey are awesome sources of protein. 4 ounces of chicken is equivalent to about 35 grams of protein.
Salmon is a healthy fish, but it can increase your fat intake. Depending on your other toppings, it might be a good option to choose an alternative to salmon, like Tuna. Tuna has less fat and carbohydrates, but is a lean protein.
Choosing a dressing is the most difficult part of making the salad. It’s important to read the labels on the back of salad dressings. Lindsay uses an example of a dressing where sugar is the third ingredient. Just because it says 2 grams of sugar, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make up most of the dressing.
Low-fat and fat-free dressings are not helpful. All it means is that the fat has been extracted and replaced with other ingredients that lack nutrients.
Make your own dressing by using 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, half squeezed lemon. This makes 2 servings and you can even add other additives like dijon mustard, pepper or other herbs.
Lindsay gives us three store-bought options: Tessemae’s Soy Ginger dressing, Bragg’s Braggberry pomegranate dressing, and Bragg’s Apple Cider dressing. They all contain clean ingredients that can help you experiment with flavors and stay healthy.
A lot of restaurants add oils and ingredients that aren’t clean to their foods. It’s important to read ingredients and ask for olive oil and vinegar on the side. If you notice too many bad ingredients, choose another option or ask to remove the unhealthy ingredients.
Stay healthy and don’t forget to tune into Burn TV LIVE every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1 pm.