Looking for ways to make your salad healthier? Isn’t salad ALREADY healthy? The truth is, salad can quickly become an unhealthy meal choice by the way we fix it and what add-ins we throw on top. Below are my tips and ways to make your salad healthier, because it can be challenging to know what to take out of your salad to make it a leaner diet choice! Better yet, what can you replace those items with? Read on to learn ways to make your salad healthier!
1. Choose Grilled Meat
One of the quickest ways to make your salad healthier is by removing the fried chicken. A chicken salad SOUNDS like a healthier dinner, but only if the meat has been grilled, not fried! Alternatively, you could choose grilled shrimp if you like. I love to grill my chicken or shrimp in a little garlic for added flavor!
2. Use Lemon Juice
Instead of drowning your salad in ½ a cup of ranch dressing, try using lemon juice! You will get very few calories, and still a zing of flavor. Plus lemon has detoxifying properties! I also add a little salt to my lemon juice to give it a little zing.
3. No Croutons
Croutons are always my downfall on a salad! I love them and could easily pile them on! If you MUST have croutons on your salad, reach for healthier or even homemade versions. However, if you’re game, just skip the croutons completely! They are empty calories that you can easily do without.
4. Have Your Dressing and Eat It Too
If you’re not the type of person who could substitute salad dressing for lemon juice, here’s a tip just for you! Put your salad dressing in a small dish, and keep it to the side. Dip your fork in it before loading salad onto it, and then you will get just enough dressing with each bite to flavor your salad, but miss out on the extra calories and fat that excessive dressing brings.
5. Avoid Cheese
This one is pretty much a no-brainer! I like to leave cheese out of my salad entirely, but if you must have it, go for a low-fat white cheese, like mozzarella. And use a light hand! A small sprinkling of cheese can go a long way.
6. Healthier Add-in Options
Here are a few ideas for things to replace the croutons, cheese, and fatty dressings! Avocado is a good way to mix up your salad! You can also try sunflower seeds or almonds. I love throwing a handful of fresh pomegranate seeds onto my salad! Raspberry vinegar is also tasty when drizzled on top.
7. Skip Bacon
Bacon is so good on a salad, but it’s not so good for your waistline! If you leave the bacon bits off, you will easily drop calories and fat from your salad. If you’re using imitation bacon bits, those are often full of preservatives so you’re doing yourself a double favor by skipping the bacon. Replace it with some nuts if you miss that crunch on your salad!
Salad is only as healthy as what you put into it! Eating healthy can be a challenge, but it is very rewarding and can still be tasty! I love to vary my salads to keep things interesting from day to day. How often do you eat a salad for lunch? Please comment below to share your tips for keeping your salad healthy and delicious!