Your Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Better Salad

Jan 10 2018 - 4:45pm

Whether you're cutting back on carbs, looking to lose weight, or trying to incorporate more fresh foods into your life, salads are essential. But there's nothing worse than putting together a beautiful salad for lunch or dinner and still wanting more at the end of your meal. If you can relate, check out how to build the best salad ahead!

Step One: Start With Fiber-Rich Greens

Laying the foundation for any salad starts with a bed of fresh greens. While iceberg or romaine offer hydration to your plate, the real nutrition comes from fiber- and nutrient-rich dark leafy greens like kale, mixed greens, or spinach (pictured). If all of one is too much for your taste buds, then try mixing two different greens together for a little variety. Whatever you decide, start with (at least) two cups of your favorite greens.

Step Two: Slice and Dice Colorful Fresh Produce

When it comes to a refreshing salad, pile the fresh produce on heavy. We're big believers in "eating the rainbow" over here, so chop, dice, and slice a diverse mix of colorful produce to add to your bowl. Go for in-season veggies (or fruits!) for the very best textures and flavors.

Step Three: Add the Right Protein

The right amount of protein can make or break your salad. If you come to work equipped with a low-carb lunch of gorgeous greens and produce with no protein to be seen, you're going to be hankering for a snack soon after you finish.

Regardless of your diet, the average woman needs 46 grams of protein every day [2] — and that number goes way up if you're active! Whether it's your favorite beans (red kidneys are pictured here), lean protein like grilled chicken or fish, or a combination of the two, make sure your salad has ample protein to keep hunger at bay.

Step Four: Top Things Off With Healthy Fats

Steering clear of all fat is doing your body injustice. It may sound counterintuitive, but eating the mono- and polyunsaturated fats [4] can keep you healthy. Foods like walnuts, avocado, and olive oil are all plant-based sources of those omega-3-rich fats, but a little goes a long way; a few slices of avocado, a sprinkle of walnuts, or a dressing that's made up of equal parts olive oil and vinegar will do the trick.

Step Five: Eat Up

And enjoy!

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