There are many reasons why people try to lose weight, including health, self-confidence, and improving joint mobility. While there are a number of different ways to approach food and exercise to achieve your weight loss goals, one of the most common steps that people take is to increase the number of salads that they eat. If you’re considering eating more salads and wondering if they actually help you lose weight, then keep reading to find out.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at what salads do for your fitness goals, as well as what items you want to avoid putting into your salads. At Greenspot Salad Company in San Diego, we love providing the freshest possible ingredients so that our customers can make healthy and nutritious meals. Stop by today for the best salad you’ve ever had!
Choose the Best Salad Greens
While salads made with pasta and potatoes are very delicious, they also tend to be very high in calories and fat. If your goal is to lose weight, then make sure that the base of your salad is comprised of a variety of delicious greens, including spinach, romaine, green leaf lettuce, and arugula. Salad greens make a great base, as they are low in calories and provide a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Use an Oil-Based Dressing
One of the benefits of using this type of dressing is that nutrients such as vitamins A, D, and E, which are fat soluble, will be absorbed by your body much more easily. The more salads you eat with an oil-based dressing, the more likely you are to increase your carotenoid levels, which is a very good thing for your health. Need more convincing? Research shows that unsaturated fatty acids found in oil-based dressings help melt belly fat and can make your salad feel much more filling.
Pick a Lean Protein
Proteins such as fish and chicken are great for helping your stomach to feel full, plus they help your body release fat more easily. If you prefer not to eat meat, then get the protein you need with other toppings such as edamame, tofu, nuts, and seeds. One great benefit to adding lean protein to your salad is that it keeps your calorie count low and adds delicious flavors.
Add Fruits and Nuts
It is much easier to get delicious fresh fruit for your salad in the summer months since they’re in season. Add some sweetness to your salad with strawberries or mixed berries. As we mentioned earlier, you can add nuts and seeds for protein. One great bonus is that the crunchiness of nuts and seeds is a nice contrast to the softness of the fruit. Many summer salad recipes actually use this combination, so why not try it for yourself?
We know, croutons are delicious! If you’re trying to lose weight, however, these crunchy morsels can really pack a wallop when it comes to calories and sugar. Croutons are generally made from white bread, which has a high glycemic load. This means that as your body digests them, they will cause a sharp spike in your blood sugar. Good alternatives include brown rice or quinoa.
Never Add Fried Foods
One thing that you can often find in restaurant salads is a meat topping that has been fried. While these may taste good, they are not a good option if your goal is to lose weight. They can add a significant amount of calories and sugar to your diet, which will counteract all the steps you’re taking to get in better shape. You can still have the meat, just make sure to ask if they can grill it instead of frying it.
Avoid Creamy Dressings and Fat-Free Dressings
Creamy dressings tend to be very high in calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Stay away from salad dressings like ranch, Caesar, and honey-dijon so that you don’t sabotage yourself. With that being said, you don’t want to swing in the opposite direction and order fat-free dressings, as these can also complicate matters. When the fat is removed, the taste usually suffers, which is why these types of dressings are typically very high in salt and sugar. Contrary to what you might think, your body needs good fats to help it absorb essential vitamins and minerals.
Skip Dried Fruits
We can almost hear your confusion — we said fruit was a good thing, right? Fresh fruit is a very good addition to your salad to help you lose weight. Dried fruit is quite the opposite. Typically, dried fruit is loaded with sugar — around 22 grams of sugar in a ¼ cup! With that being said, you’re also giving up the filling fiber that is found in fresh fruit. If losing weight is your goal, then keep your eye on the prize and skip the dried fruits.
At Greenspot Salad Company in San Diego, our goal is to provide our customers with the freshest ingredients possible so that their salads are not only tasty but also healthy. We’d love for you to stop by one of our two San Diego locations, and let us make a delicious salad for you. Salads can help you lose weight, and we make them taste great!