What is the most common meal people think of when considering a diet? The infamous salad. Salads are versatile in that you can make a salad that will conform to any diet, (low fat, low carb, points, calories, etc). The reason salads are such a popular diet food is that they are not a very nutrient dense meal because lettuce is mainly water. This allows for a meal with sustenance that is low in calories. But low calorie does not mean healthy. We need nutrition to live, and to have energy. If you have ever seen anyone on a salad diet, you probably noticed that if they make it past a day or two, they are exhausted and hating life. The weight loss from these type of diets is short lived at best. If you’re going to eat a salad, you need to make it a healthy salad. This means healthy fats and proteins to fuel you through the day and keep you functioning.
LOSER – Commercial Salad Dressing
Almost any meat of your choice can make a nice addition to a salad (chicken, fish, steak, etc). Four ounces of meat would be the minimum to be used on a salad, but for many 6-8 ounces would be great. The hardest thing to find is a healthy salad dressing. Most popular dressings are made with highly processed rancid oils that are full of unhealthy polyunsaturated fats. In addition to that, a large dose of sugar is usually added. Top that off with some preservatives and dyes, and your salad is no longer low calorie, low carb, or healthy of any sort.
What about those diet dressings?
They are even BIGGER LOSERS. Low fat and low calorie dressings would be great if they were just that. But because there is such emphasis on sweet taste and look, they are still usually filled with dyes, and added artificial sweeteners to replace the sugar. In reality, a healthy dressing would be a high fat low carb dressing, but people are still in the 1980’s and think low fat is healthy.
WINNER – Home made dressing
Home made dressings are easy, taste better, and much healthier. It can be as simple as taking your favorite healthy oil such as Olive oil, and some natural apple cider vinegar mixed in a bottle. The ratio should be 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar for most vinegars. For a little extra, mix in herbs or salts of your choice, or use other healthy oils such as almond or avocado oil. Coconut oil is great for your health, but is usually solid at room temperature, but can be used to make thick items like a healthy mayonnaise . Healthy oils should be minimally processed and heated, high in saturated and mono saturated fats, and low in poly unsaturated fats. Some examples of unhealthy oils are vegetable and canola oil.