Healthy Salad Recipes
How the Right Salad Can Taste Great and Help You Lose Fat Too
Salad can be one of the best meals when you’re trying to lose fat and gain muscle. Unfortunately, too many people make sure that their salads taste great, and in the process make something they shouldn’t really be eating if their goal is fat loss. You can make a salad recipe that tastes great and is healthy.
Sneaky Salad Calories
Salads have many advantages as healthy foods. They’re easy to prepare, fast, cheap, and are great contributors to a well balanced diet. Done right, salads can be low calorie, nutrition packed meals, but one of the big mistakes people make when they’re concocting a salad is that they smother it with good tasting, but fat-laden dressing. Dressings like 1000 island and bleu cheese are almost entirely fat, and not the good kind, either. They really raise the calorie count of your supposedly healthy salad.
Stick to low or no calorie dressings that add only flavor, not all that other stuff you want to keep out of your body. There are some good low calorie versions of popular ones, like balsamic vinaigrette, Italian, and Russian. You can even use oil and vinegar, but use olive or canola oil, and go light on it, because all oil is pretty calorically dense.
HFC, You’re Killin’ Me!
One note on salad dressings; most of them use high fructose corn sweetener. I’ve done a few posts relating to the hazards of HFC when it comes to losing fat, so scan the fine print on the ingredients label for any signs of the stuff in your prospective salad dressing choice. Keep in mind that many artificial sweeteners are a chemistry set. Check the label for those too.
Grated, Crumbled, or Cubed
Another place people tend to go overboard when designing their salads is overdoing it on the cheese. Your salad shouldn’t look like an uncooked pizza if you want it to be healthy. Some cheese is great, especially low fat mozzarella, just measure out your portions, because it is easy to add too much. Check this out; an oz of low moisture, part skim mozzarella cheese has about 85 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 7 grams of protein. Non fat moz has 9 grams of protein and less than ½ the calories. That sounds like a great salad topping.
Green Makes the World Go ‘Round
One thing to remember is actually something to forget; iceberg lettuce. That stuff is almost nutritionally inert. Instead, try some spinach, or romaine lettuce. You’ll have a salad that’s more nutritious and tastes better too.
Try putting some lean meat in there for extra protein. Salmon is great, because in addition to protein, it also give you a solid dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. Albacore tuna is a lower cost alternative that tastes great, too. Skinless chicken or turkey breasts are solid choices for salad meats as well.
Nuts are fantastic salad ingredients. They add antioxidants, protein, and some good fats, too. Almonds or wa;nuts with the skins on are perfect for salads. They are high in nutrition and taste pretty darn good.
Feel free to throw in as many vegetables as you’d like to round things out, but don’t forget some fruit too. Tomatoes are that fruit masquerading as a vegetable that really lends itself to salad prep duty. They’re full of antioxidants and high in Vitamins A, C, and K, plus you’ll get a healthy dose of potassium as well.
Flaxen Haired Beauty
Another little known salad topping you’ll want to check out is golden flax seed meal. Golden flax seed meal is a bit more expensive than the normal, browner stuff, but it’s worth it if you’re going to be sprinkling it onto your salad because it tastes quite a bit better. The flax seed meal will give you tons of dietary fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. It is a great way to help you get the “good” fats you need in your diet. If you include salmon in your salad too, it’s an Omega-3 bonanza. The stuff I use is from Flax USA in North Dakota and has 2,700mg per serving. I typically use about 1-1/2 servings at a time.
The secret to a healthy, fat loss, muscle building salad is to fill it with enough low calorie, nutritionally dense ingredients that you’ll fill your stomach, but take in a minimum of calories. The ones you do take in will be filled with all the good stuff your body craves to replenish itself after your high intensity workouts. So, for your next meal, take a trip down the produce isle and go by the seafood counter for good measure. It’ll really help you to lose fat, and pack on some lean at the same time.