Despite your best intentions, a salad can quickly become a diet disaster.
Calorific dressings and high-fat ingredients counteract the health benefits of a crunchy bowl of greens.
Keep your salads figure friendly as well as satisfying with our slimming suggestions.
• Create a colour splash! As a general rule, including a rainbow of fruit and vegetable colours will benefit your health and waistline as well as upping the antioxidant content.
• Add a carb if greens alone don’t satisfy your appetite. Potatoes are a great option as the vitamin C and potassium content is surprisingly high.
• Choose darker leaves like spinach or watercress over lighter ones like iceberg. The latter is very low in nutrients compared to darker varieties.
• Try for a 2:1 ratio so that two parts of your salad is composed of raw leafy greens and other vegetables and the other third is for ‘fun’ ingredients. These include lean proteins (chicken, eggs, tuna), healthy fats (avocado, nuts, olives) and treats (crumbled feta, croutons, bacon).
• Drench your leaves in dressing: firstly it’ll detract from the flavour and secondly your calorie count will rocket. If you’re eating out, ask for the dressing on the side and add a small amount yourself.
• Splurge on shop-bought creamy dressings. Instead rustle up a low-fat vinaigrette at home. Balsamic, sherry and raspberry flavoured vinegars are just some of the exciting varieties readily available in shops.
• Indulge in prepared dishes at the salad bar. Tuna, pasta and potato based salads are often loaded with mayonnaise.
• Consistently include the same ingredients. Keep things fresh by incorporating beans, nuts, herbs, pulses or even fruit.
Try our healthy salad recipes:
Asian prawn salad
Griddled courgette, broad bean, feta and mint salad
Summer leafy salad with salsa verde dressing
Roasted spicy squash leafy salad