It is common knowledge that vegetables are low in calories and that they should be a part of the diet in any weight loss program. The problem is that when people think about salads, they often visualize a bed of greens with all types of condiments on top of it. Things like rich salad dressings and meats can add a great number of calories to the salad, making it no longer the best low-cal choice in a weight loss diet. Then again, when you take away all the toppings, especially the ones that provide you with protein, you are left with something that is not really satisfying. So, how can you make a salad that is both low in calories and yet will satisfy your hunger pangs? Here are some suggestions in creating the best salads for weight loss.
The dressing is an important part of a salad that gives it texture and flavor. Surprisingly, the best dressing for dieters are not the fat-free variety, but the oil-based variety. Researchers have found that many of the nutrients found in leafy greens are fat soluble. So, your body needs some fat in order to absorb them. Fat-free dressings also often contain more sugar. A better choice would be to use a dressing made from olive or canola oil. The unsaturated fatty acids make the salad more satisfying and can reduce the fat around your belly. Sprinkle a bit of balsamic vinegar on top for an extra kick.
Don’t just stick with your basic lettuce in your salad. Different types of greens provide different nutrients, so mix them up for the most benefits. Throw in some fresh herbs which pack plenty of flavor and are also a rich source of antioxidants.
Salads for weight loss do not have to be all greens. You can sprinkle a bit of grated, low-fat cheese onto your salad for extra flavor and nutrients. Cheese provides calcium which helps the release of fat. Try some grated parmesan or cheddar to make your salad more satisfying.
You can add protein to your salad and still keep the calories down by using a few ounces of grilled salmon or chicken breast. If you do not prefer meat, you can add tofu or some beans. The protein will keep you from feeling hungry for a while. Just monitor how much of it you add to keep the calories low.
Add various non-leaf vegetables and fruits for some extra pizazz. Berries provide a healthy dose of antioxidants. Peppers have a great flavor and provide different nutrients. Many nutrients work even better when combined with others, so mix up your fruits and vegetables in your salad.
Avoid adding croutons which are low in nutrients. These simple carbs can increase your blood sugar level. If you want a crunch, throw in a little bit of nuts or seeds that provide good fat and protein.
Salads for weight loss do not have to be boring. Try some of the ideas above and create the most delicious salad that is friendly to your waistline.