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Are Salads Healthy??!Not Always!

Are Salads Healthy??!Not Always!

The right ingredients for salads can create a satisfying meal full of carbs, proteins,healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. But other ingredients can add up extra fat, sodium, sugar, and calories. Thus, all what a nutritious salad needs is a good choice!

•Dressings: between fatty and healthy
Don’t cancel the benefits of a salad by drowning it in mayo! Creamy dressings can serve up more fats than a cheeseburger with fries, for example each 2 tablespoon of ranch or blue cheese dressing contains about 15 g of fat and 150 kcal. For a healthier creamy version, use small amounts of plain yogurt, fat-free sour cream or light mayonnaise.
To cut back on the dressings with no nutrition value, start with olive oil, which contains heart-healthy fats. Toss with lime or lemon juice, red vinegar or balsamic. You can also enhance the flavor with a little mustard which has no fats or sugar.

•Add healthy proteins
To keep your green salad in the healthy zone replace crispy, fried and breaded proteins with 90g of grilled shrimps, chicken breast, salmon and boiled eggs. Proteins take time to be digested, so adding it to your salad can fill you up longer.

•More nutrition with Veggies
If you like the crunch of croutons, try adding crisp veggie mix such as broccoli, cucumbers and carrots. This way you can enjoy your guilt free meal with additional flavor and nutrition! Don’t forget to add a touch of color from beets, peppers or red onions.

•Use Fruits and Nuts
Add fruits to make your salad healthier, filling and more exotic! Select fresh fruits and avoid dried ones. Dried fruits have less water and volume, meaning 1 serving is ½ the fresh fruit portion.
Add up healthy fats, proteins and fibers to your sweetened taste by mixing fresh fruits with a handful of nuts! Try combining walnuts with apples, pecans with peaches, and almonds with berries.

•Avocado and Black Bean
Replace guacamole and sour cream in your Taco salad with avocado and black beans, this way you’ll get the flavor without the extra calories. Avocado adds fiber and creaminess, while beans add antioxidants, proteins, fibers, and iron.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

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Christelle Bedrossian