Salad toppings are, in my opinion, what make the meal taste good. Yes, I will definitely say that the right mix of field greens definitely appeals to me a lot more than a few leaves of iceberg. But at the same time, it’s really about everything else that is mixed in that defines the dish. That said, it’s important to know that just because you’re throwing those ingredients on a bed of field greens, it doesn’t make them healthy!
Not All Salad Toppings Are Good for You
I’ve written about how I feel about healthy salads before. I never used to be a guy who cared about leaves as a meal. It was Bree who sold me on these dishes, particularly when I found out that there was a lot more to them than leaves. In fact, when done properly, it’s a complete, filling meal with a ton of flavors. Thanks again, Bree. Yes, you were right.
That said, there is a big difference between a healthy recipe and one that might as well be a fast-food burger based on its fat and sugar content and low nutritional value. What typically differentiates between the two is the salad toppings that go into the mix. If you’re looking for nutrition, this is very important. If you’re aiming for weight loss or control, it’s critical.
Set These Toppers Aside
Since this seems to be the topic I feel strongly about this week, I’ve put together a list of the salad toppings that sound tasty but that are only going to let you down if you add them to your meal.
If you truly love the following, and you’re enjoying them as a rare treat in the same way you’d have a cheeseburger or ice cream cone, go for it. I don’t condone depriving ourselves of everything fun. That said, if your goal is flavor but also nutrition and weight loss, set the following aside in favor of better alternatives to suit your goal.
- Creamy dressings – For me, this was the easiest one to let go. I do love a creamy ranch dressing on certain salads, but they are full of fat, sugars and other unwanted additives. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, along with fresh herbs, do just as well – if not better. They’re far more nutritious and way better for weight loss.
- Fried protein – Breaded and crispy fried chicken slices sound delicious, but you might as well just skip this dish altogether and go for a bucket of the colonel’s own instead if this is your protein of choice. Go for the grilled or smoked chicken instead as your salad topping and you’ll get the taste and satisfaction without the overabundance of calories and fat.
- Tortilla chips – Crunch is a vital factor in my salad toppings, but tortilla chips are essentially a junk food addition to an otherwise healthy meal. Go for seeds and nuts instead, and you’ll get all the crunch you want.