Although not for everyone, salads are fun, easy to make, and can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways. However, if you’re not careful, mixing the wrong things can actually turn your healthy food into unhealthy food. Here are some common salad-building mistakes that are commonly made, and how to avoid them in order to make your salad as healthy as possible.
Getting the protein just right in your salad is almost like an art form; however, protein is an essential salad component for a multitude of reasons. Protein helps to add variety to the mix, as well as increases satiety as you eat, boosts metabolism and helps to contribute to nutrients and lean tissue formation. However, when too little protein is delivered, it is near impossible for the body to benefit from these things. An easy way to balance out your salad is to incorporate a half cup of a plant-based protein and three ounces of lean meat.
Salads give you the option to explore, go wild and add as many different colors as you can. Limiting yourself to a select few vegetables only limits the amount of nutrients and vitamins that you will receive from the salad itself. Think green, red, orange, purple and yellow, every time you throw together a salad.
Just as with protein, fat is important in any salad. It sounds a little oxymoronic that fat would be added to a salad, but good fat can help you in a number of healthy ways. Nuts, avocados and even some olive oil can provide your taste buds with flavor and texture, and the body with health benefits such as the reduction of inflammation and the absorption of vitamins and antioxidants.
A salad lacking in starch is a salad that is also wasting the added protein. Starch’s main purpose is to help the body burn protein for fuel and be used for muscle growth. Adding potato or even corn can easily help you to incorporate starch into the mix and savor all of the health benefits your salad has to offer.
The Pièce de résistance to any salad is the little treasure you sprinkle on top. Simply by adding your preferred natural seasonings, not only are you putting your own spin on the look, feel and flavor of the salad, but you’re increasing satiety and the rate of your metabolism too. Try using fresh herbs like cilantro to finish off the dish before you devour it whole.
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