Salads are often viewed under a health halo, but many come in large portions and are loaded with high calorie ingredients. Looking for salads that come with grilled or roasted meats, legumes as the protein source, or seafood rather than fried or “crispy” meats can cut down on added calories and unhealthy fats. Asking for dressing on the side, no cheese or light cheese, and half portion servings are ways to ensure your salad remains a great, healthy option that is packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Here are a few salad recipes to try from the American Heart Association:
- Asian Marinated Vegetable Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
- Mediterranean Salad
- Mango, Avocado and Black Bean Salad
When ordering or preparing a meal, opt for the side salad with dressing on the side, fruit, steamed vegetables, or a baked potato instead of fries, coleslaw, potato salad, or mashed potatoes that are often calorie dense without added nutritional benefit.
Tricky words that may indicate a higher calorie option:
- Fried, Broasted, Crispy, Breaded, or Battered
- Buttered or Buttery
- Creamed, Creamy, or White Sauce
- Smothered or Covered
Better words to look for:
- Baked, Boiled, Broiled, Grilled, Poached, or Roasted
- Whole grain