Not exactly. While you may be making salads that aren’t high in calories, can you safely say you’re making salads that are high in nutrients? If not, we have just the info for you! Here are five important things to keep in mind to help you build your best salad.
Ditch the Iceberg
Iceberg lettuce is about as nutritious as it is flavorful, so if you’re still using it, the first thing to do is start building your better salad at the base. Try leafy, darker greens like spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, or radicchio. Or try a spring mix for varied flavors and texture!
So for your salad’s base, keep in mind that, generally, the darker the leaves, the more vitamins and minerals, and two cups of these mixed greens can get you your daily A, C, and K vitamins.
Keep Your Protein Lean
Proteins that negate that otherwise healthy salad:
So use one (or some!) of these lean proteins instead:
A hard-boiled egg
Extra-lean ground beef
Sliced pork tenderloin
See all the other healthier proteins you could be having instead of bacon bits or a few slices of fried chicken?
Make it Colorful
Definitely, some of the best – and best for you – salads are the most colorful ones. To boost the fiber and nutrition content of your salad, you want to get it looking like a rainbow! Try mixing in some of these fruits and veggies to find your favorite flavor combos:
Choose Better Flavor-Makers
For a crunch:
Instead of buttery, cholesterol-rich croutons, try
Crumbled whole grain crackers
Nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds)
Seeds (pumpkin, chia, sunflower)
For something sweet:
Instead of candied walnuts or sugared almonds, try
Dried fruits, like raisins
For your cheese on top:
Instead of a handful of cheddar or other high-fat cheese, (sparingly) try
And for even extra flavor:
Know Your Salad Dressing
You can have the most flavorful, healthiest salad in the world, but if you’re not dressing it up correctly, all of that work could be for naught. Dressing ingredients can fall anywhere on the spectrum from super high-fat/high-calorie to really nutritious, so it’s important to know what makes up your salad dressing.
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.