03 Aug The HealthStyle File- The Really Big Salad
Remember that “Seinfeld” episode where Elaine searched high and low for “the really big salad?” The big salad is certainly the most popular lunch for women, but most women make the mistake of having it with a low fat dressing and no protein. Eating a lunch with little or no fat and protein will crank your sugar cravings into high gear.
Eating veggies at lunch is a good way to get vitamins, minerals and fiber. But if veggies are all you eat, your energy will last for less than an hour and you will find yourself needing sugar to regain your focus and concentration. You also need some fat with your salad to help your body absorb nutrients from the veggies.
*According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who consume salads with fat-free dressing absorb far fewer phytonutrients and vitamins than those who use a dressing containing fat (Brown and others 2004).
HOW…to create a healthy and high-energy “big salad”:
- Have a salad with at least five veggies (adding a fruit, such as a pear or apple, is great too).
- The darker the better! Though the most popular choice, salads made with iceberg lettuce, take a nutritional back seat to salads made with dark or mixed greens.
- An iceberg lettuce salad has 60-80 percent fewer nutrients than a salad made with raw spinach.
- Add a handful of chopped herbs to your salad to give it a flavor boost, along with a huge antioxidant hit.
- Add some protein. It doesn’t take much—a hard-boiled egg, a couple of slices of turkey breast or a half cup of beans or lentils.
- Add some fat. Use healthy oil in your dressing, such as olive or grape seed, to get the full nutritional benefit from your veggies. If you really do love the fat-free dressings, add fat to your salad by tossing in a handful of nuts or seeds, or a quarter of an avocado. That’s enough to give your body the good fat and nutrition it craves.