Take Charge of Your Health - Too Much of A Good Thing: Part III - Salad: Friend or Foe
Too many salads suffer from a lack of imagination
Our focus this month has been on a few issues some have asked about that fall under the heading of "too much of a good thing." First up on March 1, was Pain Medications, which are certainly in today's news; next up on March 15 was common concerns with Repetitive Motion Injuries; and now we conclude the series with Diet Misconceptions.
Many salad ingredients are filled with fat and calories. Take the example of a cobb salad with mounds of bacon, blue cheese, eggs, chicken, avocados, croutons and lots of yummy dressing! A typical Cobb salad packs close to 1000 calories. (If you really want that Cobb but not all those calories, consider using turkey, or low sodium bacon, fat free blue cheese and 'just say no' to those croutons).
When eating salads for weight loss, it is best to focus on the greens – flavorful greens such as arugula, spinach, chard, beet greens. They can be mixed with crisp greens such as iceberg lettuce to add crunch and volume. Other simple ingredients such as carrots, celery, cucumbers and tomatoes are also great additions. The challenge for most of us is to make the salad satisfying enough so that we can delay snacking between our meals.
To build a robust, but diet-friendly salad, look to beans, avocado, olives, olive oil, nuts, seeds and lean sources of protein such as chicken, tuna or salmon. If you want a special treat, throw in some berries or citrus fruits.
An important key is to pay special attention to your dressing. Most prepared dressings are full of fats and empty calories. Many types are also packed with sugar, sodium, additives and preservatives. Consider making a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. If you do decide to use store-bought dressing, be sure to measure it carefully. And when dining out, ask for the dressing on the side so that you can control your caloric intake.
You may be surprised to know that low carbohydrate diets typically lead to greater weight loss than low fat diets! Some of the best foods to eat for weight loss are:
Eggs - high in protein and nutrients
Leafy greens - for vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants
Avocados - almost a perfect food
Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage - all loaded with fiber
Salmon - for Omega-3 fatty acids and protein
Chicken, lean meats, nuts and beans - for high protein
Oatmeal and quinoa - filled with fiber and protein
Cottage cheese and full-fat yogurt (why full fat yogurt? Because most low fat yogurts are filled with sugar!)
Berries - for fiber and antioxidants
And if you really, really need something sweet, grab a hunk of dark chocolate! (70% cacao). It's good for your heart.
Hope you enjoyed our series on common misconceptions. We are always happy to hear your comments and suggestions.