Proper nutrition and weight concerns are top questions that I get from my patients. From sugar, salt, or processed food choices readily available and cheap, it can be hard to make wise choices for your health. I recommend salads as the ultimate healthy meal when it is not packed with sugar, fake fats, processed ingredients, or pesticides. Before you create your salad masterpiece that you think will get you your sexy back, see if it’s nutritious and delicious.
1. Start with a smart choice of Greens
How can greens possibly be unclean? Could the wrong choice of greens contain chemicals and pathogens that can make you sick? A government report says that one-third of all E. coli sickness in the U.S. is due to greens and veggies. Yikes! So let’s dissect this a little more. Don’t buy the regular bagged greens. You know the already prepared ones in the grocery store. these bagged greens are washed with a mix of water and chlorine (yes I said chlorine). Also they may contain residuals from the pesticides or fertilizers used to grow them. No mater how much you wash these greens before eating, you can’t remove this stuff. A better choice are the organic bagged greens. Yes move over to the organic section of the grocery store. These greens are free of pesticides and chemicals. However, they can be 2 weeks old or more and that means fewer nutrients. The best choice is locally grown organic greens. These greens aren’t bagged and can pack up to 4 times as many antioxidants as the bagged varieties. Also not having a bag will less likely encourage growth of pathogens that can make you sick.
2. Add Crunch Not Fluff
Nuts are super foods and adding clean versions to your salad can deliver up to 6 g of protein and 3 g of fiber per serving. They also help you to keep you full so that you eat less. Its called the second-meal effect. Look it up. Remember to keep it simple. The wrong choice of nut can result in excess sugar, salt and fats. So let’s look at the different types of nuts out there. Don’t buy oil-roasted or sugarcoated nuts. They are packed with extra calories, pesticides, sodium, and cooked in oils that are toxic. A better choice are conventional raw or dry-roasted nuts. These don’t get a dose of chemically extracted oils that are dangerous to the body. The best option are organic raw or dry-roasted nuts. These aren’t treated with pesticides or loaded with salt or sugar. If you must have the oil, choose an organic variety.
3. Pick clean proteins
What does that mean? The question that I get from my patients ask after I make that statement. Yes, a lean, low-calorie protein, that is heart-healthy and loaded with omega-3 fats. The winner of this category is canned fish. Remember to look for ‘BPA-Free” on the label to prevent toxins like mercury that has been linked to other health problems. The bad choice, white or albacore tuna. These contain 3 times the mercury of light tuna and is lower in omega-3s than canned salmon. The better choice is light tuna which is lower in mercury, has less sodium, more vitamins and contains fewer calories than white or albacore tuna. The best choice is canned salmon which has more omega-3s DHA and EPA that’s essential for brain health than any other canned fish. It also has fewer toxins like mercury than tuna. This is just a start. Turkey is also a great option.
4. Get into #goodeggs
Hard boiled eggs add protein and healthy fat to your salad. They help add 8 times more carotenoid antioxidants than from veggies. Also how the eggs are produced has a major effect on their nutritional factors. The worst choice is conventional eggs. They are less nutritious and have higher levels of Salmonella. A better choice are cage-free eggs. These hens are foot lose and fancy free. They get to spread their wings and lay eggs closer to their natural behavior. The conditions are more sanitary, however, they are fed pesticide-treated grains. The best choice is pasture-raised organic eggs. These hens get to hunt and peck outside for grass and insects. The eggs contain 2.5 times the omega-3s and 2 times the Vitamin E of conventional eggs.
5. Dress your salad for success
Don’t let your dressing choice flush your good choices down the drain. Unhealthy dressing on a highly nutritional salad is a no-go. The worst choice are the store bought brands. They are full of sugar, chemicals, artificial colors and flavors, as well as genetically modified oils. The better choice are organic or non-GMO store-bought dressing. They have less than 5 g of sugar per serving and some fat. The best choice is homemade dressings or plain ole oil and vinegar. These options help you drop the sugar, salt, preservatives, chemicals, and other additives like artificial colors and flavors. Choose an oil like olive oil that contain so many healthy components. As for the vinegar, apple cider vinegar is a great start and can also reduce blood sugar spikes.