Saturday, November 15, 2014

Make Your Salad Really Healthy

Salad seems like the ultimate food.  It is raw and filled with veggies, so what can be bad?

While Ayurveda never judges a food as good or bad for everyone, there are certain foods that have more inherent nutrition.  A food, according to Ayurveda, should jive with your body type.  While it is okay to eat some food that are not recommended for your type, it should be done in small amounts and in a balanced way.  An Ayurvedic Health Practitioner can help you discover your body type and guide you to food choices that suit it.

Raw vegetables have many nutrients and natural enzymes, but certain foods can destroy the value of the salad.  Foods that are too high in sugar (even natural ones) will give an initial high and then cause someone to crash later, needing more quick fuel and adding unnecessary calories.  A good meal should leave you feeling satisfied for at least three to four hours.  This is achieved by having healthy fats and some protein with many vegetables. 

The salad is the vegetable base.  To minimize sugar, the dressings should be low in sugar.  Watch out for balsamic vinegar, which is very high in sugar, and fat free salad dressings that use sugar to replace the fat.  Also, dried fruit is highly concentrated with sugar. While it is better than candy and good to eat in moderation, it is still too much sugar at one time to be considered a balanced food choice, especially when loaded onto a salad. Plus many dried fruits have sugar added so watch the labels.  Candied nuts are another example of a good food that is made less healthy. The added fats and sugar make this perfectly natural source of good fat, protein and fiber unhealthy.  The last add on to lose are croutons, which are highly processed sources of refined carbohydrates, sugar and fat.

Your salad will be fabulous with extra virgin olive oil, wine or rice vinegars, plain nuts, grilled chicken or fish, avocado, legumes, pomegranate seeds and vegetables.  Use different types of greens, some roasted vegetables and lots of raw vegetables- get creative.  People choose a salad trying to be healthy, so do it the right way and reap the benefits from your effort.

Stay healthy & well,

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