Here Are Some Of The Best and Worst Salad Toppings

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The right toppings can create a filling salad that’s packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, and smart carbs. But other ingredients can pack in extra calories, fat, sodium, and sugar. By making good choices, you can toss together a salad that’s delicious and nutritious. Read on to find out which are the best and worst salad toppings.

Best Salad Toppings

Herbs

Rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano add plenty of flavor to your salad. Try using them in place of salts or unhealthy fats for a delicious new salad.

Seeds

From chia to flax to pumpkin, seeds punch up the nutritional factor–and the crunch factor!–in any salad. Chia and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, magnesium, and tryptophan (the “sleep” amino acid found in turkey), plus they offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Sprinkle seeds onto this delicious Strawberry and Spinach Salad or Hearty Kale Salad.

Berries

These colorful bitty fruits provide a satisfying sweet-tart flavor and are excellent sources of fiber and vitamin C, which can help you absorb the iron in your greens. Onsgard suggests sprinkling a quarter-cup of raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries on your salad to reap the benefits and curb any sweet cravings.

Tuna

Albacore tuna (white tuna) has more omega-3s than any other variety. Trying adding grilled tuna, or even packed tuna (in water, not oil) for a protein-packed boost full of heart-friendly nutrients.

Black Beans

Even if your salad bar offers a killer selection of beans and legumes, your best bet is to go with black beans, which offer up the highest amount of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. “A cup of black beans has about 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber, 29 percent of your daily dose of iron, and 22 percent of your magnesium needs for the day. Plus, its dark skin is rich in antioxidants that may protect against cancer.

Peas

Loaded with fiber and sweet to eat, peas make a great topping for your crunchy lunch. They’re also low in calories, but high in micronutrients, fiber, and even protein.

Walnuts

Not only can these nutrient-rich nuts lower your cholesterol, they can even protect your arteries. Packed with omega-3’s, good fats, and plenty of fiber, they add a terrific crunch to your next salad.

Olive Oil

Full of antioxidants, olive oil can protect your blood vessels and even lower cholesterol levels when replacing saturated fats in your diet. Add it with a little vinegar to your salad in place of creamy salad dressings.

Homemade Salad Dressings

DIY dressing recipes give you complete control over taste and ingredients. By using clean eating ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, lemon, honey, and more, you benefit from all the flavor and none of the ingredients that add bulk to your waistline.

Worst Salad Toppings

Dried Fruit

It makes sense—you’re suffering from a throbbing sweet tooth, but want to make a healthy lunch decision, so you toss some dried fruit into your salad. Problem is, you’re also tossing on processed sugar and excess calls. “It’s very likely that the type of dried fruit you’ll find at a salad bar—be it cranberries or raisins—is sweetened with added sugar, not to mention the fact that the person making your salad will probably pile on more than you need,” says Amy Gorin, R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, New Jersey. Plus, fruit loses volume and water during the dehydrating process, so your serving size is much smaller compared to a portion of non-dried grapes or another fresh fruit.

Cheese

Not all cheese is bad, but a large portion of full-fat cheese can add quite a few calories as well as excess sodium and saturated fat. Try cheeses where a little bit goes a long way, like reduced-fat feta. Another option? One to two ounces of part-skim mozzarella or reduced fat cheddar. A ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese or a ¼ cup of part-skim ricotta can also add protein while keeping calories in check.

Fat-free Dressing

While fat-phobia is rightfully dying, restaurants still love to play into that fear. “Fat-free” anything usually is code for “higher sugar,” and fat-free dressings become a halo-triggering example of a high-sugar impact chemical maelstrom.

Fried or Crispy Protein

Steer clear of anything fried. This includes crispy chicken and shrimp, fried onions, French fries, fried falafel, and anything else fried. These options can turn a healthy salad into a calorie overdose.

Creamy Dressings

Processed cream-based dressings are easily among the worst salad toppings. Creamy dressings labeled light aren’t necessarily healthy either. What you lose in fat or calories you gain in sodium, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. Fat-free creamy dressings are also notorious for incorporating high fructose corn syrup.

Sources & References:
www.canadapharmacyonline.com
skinnyms.com
www.womenshealthmag.com
www.huffingtonpost.com
www.rodalewellness.com
www.medifastblog.com

Healthy Food MasterDiet & Weight LossGeneral Healthbreakfast,fiber,health,healthy diet,Omega-3 Fatty Acids,salad toppings
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash The right toppings can create a filling salad that’s packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, and smart carbs. But other ingredients can pack in extra calories, fat, sodium, and sugar. By making good choices, you can toss together a salad that’s delicious and nutritious. Read on...
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