There are many reasons to eat a salad. But if you want to lose weight, having a salad every day could help you eat less calories and reach your goal.
One study showed that participants who ate a low-fat salad before a meal consumed fewer calories at that meal as compared to those who did not have a salad. But take care, those who loaded their salad with high-fat cheese and dressing, actually consumed MORE?calories.
The authors concluded, “Consuming a large portion of a low-energy-dense food at the start of a meal may be an effective strategy for weight management.”
Another new study shows that the consumption of acetic acid, found in vinegar, may help boost satiety - the feeling of having enough to eat - on fewer calories.
While more research is needed on the acetic acid study, it is a good idea to eat a salad topped with wholesome low-fat ingredients including plenty of vinegar. Unlike most processed salad dressings, vinegar is naturally low in sodium and fat-free.
Vegetables, nuts, fruit, dried tomatoes, lemon zest and chopped hot peppers add flavor, texture and good nutrition. Vinegar, lemon juice and fat-free dressing are best for the waist-minded.
Cheese, high-fat dressing, croutons and bacon bits make the worst topping list because they contain a fair amount of fat and/or sodium. Use these sparingly.
• Make once, serve twice - make a large bowl of salad and serve the dressing on the side. That way you can serve it again the next day.
• Make it an entree - add cooked chicken or fish to your favorite tossed salad and you have an easy and healthful entree.
• Put it in a pita - and you have a salad on the run.
• For easy recipes, see www.foodandhealth.com.
Skinny Tossed Salad
6 cups ready-to-serve romaine
1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
10 fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup grated carrots
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients for salad in a large bowl and chill until ready to serve, up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, toss salad together with vinegar, a little oil and pepper. Serve immediately.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.