A Salad A Day Keeps The Scales At Bay

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.
Best Toppings
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.
Worst Toppings
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.
Time-Saving Tips
• 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.
Serves 4.

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