The Return of the Salad


The return of the warm weather also sees the return of the salad and although all things green are thought to be healthy, making a nutritious salad can be easier said than done. If you  consider the extra dressings, cheese and various other additions that are often added, a previously “healthy” salad can become a high fat meal in no time. So to ensure you are getting the best of both worlds, follow this fail proof guide to making the perfect salad.

Step 1 – Salad greens

Whether you choose Cos lettuce, rocket or English Spinach, following the mantra “the darker the leaves, the better they will be for you” will ensure that you are on the right track with your salad base. Salad leaves are rich sources of fibre, Vitamins C and K and generally form the base of a salad that will help to keep you full for a number of hours after eating it.

Step 2 – Plenty of brightly coloured vegetables

The more you include, the better the salad will be for you - carrots, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, beetroot, pumpkin and capsicum just some of the large range that you can add to your salad. If you find yourself struggling with throwing out too much fresh produce at the end of each week, try making one large salad each week and add the wetter items such as tomatoes later. This way you always have some salad ready to go and can even add to sandwiches, wraps and crackers as extra fillers throughout the day

Step 3 – Some carbohydrates for energy

A plain salad enjoyed at lunch without any bread, crackers or other forms of carbohydrate may appear to be the most healthy, kilo joule controlled option but remember that not eating adequate carbohydrates throughout the day can leave you feeling unsatisfied and more likely to binge eat later in the afternoon. Adding a small amount of low GI carbohydrate to your salad in the form of sweet potato, corn, 4 – bean mix or enjoying the salad with a slice of wholegrain bread or crackers will perfectly compliment your lunchtime salad. 

Step 4 – Lean proteins for nutrition

Adding a serve of lean protein such as tuna, salmon, egg, chicken breast or other lean meat not only provides filling bulk for your salad but also has much to offer nutritionally. Protein foods are rich sources of iron, zinc, Vitamin B12 and omega 3 fats. Remember, the less processed the better and if you choose tuna in olive oil, simply make sure that you drain off the extra oil to avoid a fat overload in your salad. Aim to include a small tin or tuna or salmon in your salad, 1-2 eggs or a palm sized serve of lean meat or chicken.

Step 5 – Added fats

Salad dressings, nuts, and cheese may all be tasty additions to you salad but they are all high fat choices and can quickly turn your thus far healthy salad into a kilo joule overload if you are not careful. Aim for just 1-2 of these additions to your salad and remember that olive oil and walnuts are the two best added high fat additions due to their optimal fat profile. 

 Popular Salads  KJ  Total Fat
 Thai beef salad  1100  9g
 Chicken caesar salad  1100  9g
 Pumpkin and pine nut salad  1000  20g
 Greek salad  1200  26g
 Vietnamese chicken salad  1200  36g
 Green salad with dressing  500  10g



Susie Burrell

Please note: This blog aims to supply user-friendly nutrition information for busy people without comprising on food taste and quality but should be used as a guide only and not in place of advice from your own dietitian or medical specialist. For further information on this topic, please consult your health professional. The content of this blog, including attachments, may be privileged and confidential. Any un-authorised use of this content is expressly prohibited. Any views that are expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender expressly, and with authority, states them to be the views of Susie Burrell Pty Ltd.
Category: Nutrition

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