Leafy greens loaded with creamy Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese, croutons galore, and freshly grilled marinated chicken. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Of course it does, but is it good for you? Let’s see . . . No, probably not.
Now what about a salad still filled with leafy greens, but topped with a light dressing, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and any other vegetable or fruit you want? Maybe that’s appetizing to you, but for me it is definitely not.
Let’s find a happy medium then . . .
To have a healthy salad you need to make sure you have a good lettuce, i.e. not iceberg, which has very low nutritional value and a lot of sugars.
Now the fruits and vegetables: Personally, am very, very picky and although I love fruit, I prefer none of it on my salads. There are very few veggies I can bare to eat, so I usually stick with carrots and cucumbers, but realistically you can mix your salad with any fruit or veggie you choose.
A lot of people like to put cheese on their salads, which can be very good, or very bad. Make sure you keep the cheese to a healthy amount and try not to overload the salad with cheese. For Caesar salad of course, we use Parmesan cheese, but I try to keep it minimum.
Another important factor is to be eating grilled chicken rather than fried or baked chicken. This can make a big health difference in your salad. This can also apply to other toppings for the salad like fried or grilled shrimp, or maybe put some grilled fish or steak on it!
An essential salad ingredient we could never forget (in my opinion) is . . . duh, duh, duh, DRESSING; The best part of the salad, obviously. This special ingredient can make some boring lettuce super tasty, BUT beware of the cream based dressings because they are bad news. Yeah, they taste great, but they can be a heavy and unhealthy if they are portioned incorrectly. Try to use oil-based dressings, for a lighter dressing. There are even light versions of creamy dressings, if that is what you prefer!
Adding and subtracting some key ingredients of a salad can really make it or break on the health scale. Be aware of what you’re putting in your what you believe to be healthy salad.
Maybe you don’t want a healthy salad, or maybe you want a perfectly healthy salad, but I am sure happy medium between the two can make an salad eater smile.