When you think of salad, you think of boring, wet lettuce, sad tomatoes, boiled chicken and cucumber, but this is healthy eating. When it comes to dieting, salads are known to be the secret weapon. They are low in calories, high in protein, delicious and thus excellent for weight loss. For weight loss to be effective, you need to use diet-friendly salad ingredients. The toppings should be packed with nutrients, full of flavor and naturally low in calories and fat. Weight loss can be slow, but using the right ingredients which have been proven to rev metabolism, and burn belly fat you’ll be on the right track. Whether you’re looking for a spicy, delicious or vegan-style salad, below is a list of salad ingredients that will keep you healthy and help you cut on some weight.
Dieters choose different types of lettuce as a salad base because they are low in calories. Using pasta or tomatoes as the base of your salad is not a good idea since they tend to be higher in calories and fat. You can also use legumes such as beans because they provide proteins in the body. However, the ideal salad base is made of greens.
When it comes to greens, there are so many varieties to choose from. You can choose a fresh spring green like spinach, watercress, mustard greens, chard or arugula to add the flavor. For volume and crunchiness, iceberg, radicchio, escarole, endive, leaf lettuce or romaine are the perfect options to choose from. Plus, they are low in calories and fat.
2. Healthy Fats
For your diet to be complete, you must add healthy fats. As we all know, healthy fats are a considerable source of calories as well. Hence, we need to use these healthy fats in moderation. You can use a digital scale or a measuring spoon to avoid using excess fat. You are trying to lose weight and anything with extra calories is not good for you.nHere is a list of healthy fats you can use in your salads:
- Olive oil: 1-2 tablespoons
- Avocado: 1-2 tablespoons
- Nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, almonds): use 10- 15 nuts depending on size
Olives: 5-10 olives
- Seeds (chia seeds, pumpkin seeds sunflower seeds): 1-2 tablespoons
Adding a protein like chopped deli meats to your salad keeps you satisfied for a longer time. However, not all deli meats are good if you’re trying to lose weight. Lean meat such as roast beef, chicken, salmon or turkey breast can be used in the salad.
Other healthy protein sources include:
- Seafood such as canned tuna, shrimp, sardines and anchovies.
- Meat: lean steak, shredded roast pork, seasoned extra lean turkey.
Whether it’s hot pepper or sweet pepper, they all speed up your metabolism and increase calories burning rate thus lowering your body weight. An active compound called dihydrocapsiate in pepper is responsible for the metabolism boost. In a salad, pepper works miracles in adding an extra flavor. Additionally, pepper is rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that fights stress hormones that trigger fat storage in the stomach.
5. Herbs as A Source of Flavor
Using fresh herbs adds flavor to your salad and are very healthy. Although you can use the dried form of the herb, it does not bring out that extra flavor required. The herbs to use include chives, basil, cilantro, tarragon, dill, thyme, parsley, and chervil. Adding fresh herbs to your salad can eliminate the need for salad dressing since most salad dressings are made from herbs and some kind of oil. Therefore, you have fewer calories and fats to worry about if you’re trying to lose weight.
6. Salad Dressing
The last step remaining now is to choose the best salad dressing to help complete your menu. Regrettably, almost every salad dressing is full of calories and fat. If this is not the case, some products claim to be diet-friendly but they are full of sugar. Sugars and fats are not good for weight loss. You can opt to make your own dressing or avoid it altogether. Most dieters use salt or pepper to sprinkle on the top. These two add flavor giving you a tasty salad. However, if you decide to make your own dressing measure it carefully.
With the above ingredients, you can make a healthy satisfying dinner or lunch salad. In addition to that, it becomes easy to lose weight faster without straining. The aim is to use ingredients with monounsaturated fatty acids to help boost metabolism rate for weight loss. If you can avoid salad dressing well and good. In fact, there are so many options to choose from if you want to replace salad dressing.
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