Sunday, March 1, 2009

Are the Salads You Eat Really That Healthy?

All health conscious people love to eat salad and if you’re one of those people, you probably know how sumptuous well-made salads can be. All that lettuce topped with your favorite dressing and sprinkled with other toppings is enough to make your mouth water. However, not all salads are really healthy as you might think, and discussed here are the factors you must consider if you have maximum health in mind while eating salads.

Most of the vegetable salads we know today are composed of a primary ingredient called lettuce. Now, don’t get me wrong, lettuce is a very healthy thing to eat, however, its downside is that it really doesn’t have much of an impact when regards to taste. That’s why we include all those extras in our salads to enhance its flavor. Fruits can easily accomplish this, but most of the time, we add in a little bit sin to the meal.

These are the ingredients that make the salad not so healthy and if you’ll like to have an actual example, then take a look at any local salad bar. If you take a closer look, many of the items in a salad bar are not for health conscious people, but all salad bar patrons love to include them in the mix. So, let’s just take a closer look at these ingredients and provide some guidelines to lessen their consumption.

Obviously, fruits and vegetables are the healthy part of salad so we’ll just look at the next tray of ingredients. Here we see bacon bits and croutons which are both adding to the downfall of your salad. Bacon bits and any other meat add fat to your body. But I’m not saying avoid them entirely, just moderate additional meat and you’re perfectly fine.

Another part of salad we cannot do without are dressings. Generally, dressings are unhealthy, so the greatest way around the use of dressings is to measure just enough of them before you begin eating the salad. At an average, a two tablespoon of dressing will accumulate eleven grams of fat in your body. Not really a lot, but it can certainly build up overtime if you consume more.

Unfortunately, a salad is not a happy salad unless it has a dressing on top and adding flavor to every bite. That is why in order for you to cut back on the calories, here’s a handy little tip you can implement. Try using a fat free or low calorie dressing to add flavor to your salads. Nowadays, this is already a very famous option seen on groceries, with most of our favorite flavors already having its low fat counterpart.

The downside to all these is that low fat dressings doesn’t really taste the same as their original counterparts. This will probably make you use more of them, which is a downside to cost savings. For this problem, here’s a possible solution. Instead of spreading the dressing evenly across the salad before you eat, try putting it in a small cup. Use the dressing as a dip for your salad, taking in only a few portions just to add taste to the vegetables. This way, you can monitor well your calorie intake and see more progress in your health efforts.

To sum it up, in order for a salad to become really healthy, you must pay attention to the ingredients you put in it. I know it takes a bit of self control but hopefully with these little tips, you can still enjoy eating your favorite salads without much toll on its taste.

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