How to Build a Healthier Salad

5 Tips to Make a Healthy Salad

You might think eating greens alone makes a salad healthy. However if you overload it with cheese, oil, and fats, then you might actually be creating a bit of a diet disaster. Here are 5 tips to consider when building out your next salad to make sure it’s a healthy addition to your meal.

By Candice Graham

Healthy vegetarian dinner. Woman in jeans and warm sweater holding bowl with fresh salad, avocado, grains, beans, roasted vegetables, close-up. Superfood, clean eating, vegan, dieting food concept

Make a rainbow.

A colorful salad is a healthy salad, so strive to recreate the rainbow in your bowl. Mix in fresh tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, avocado, and bell peppers – the more vibrant the color, the more nutrient benefits you’ll gain.

Go dark.

Greens are the basis of a delicious salad, so don’t skimp here! To get the most out of your lettuce, choose dark and leafy versions such as spinach leaves or arugula instead of iceberg. These will give you an increase of folic acid and lutein.

Sprinkle on beans.

Make a taco salad-inspired dish by incorporating black beans and low-fat cheeses. Use chickpeas, pintos, white beans, kidney beans, or other legumes to add a meatless boost of protein.

Add meat.

Turn a simple side salad into a main course with the addition of lean chicken or turkey. Or, add fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, like salmon. Make the dish extra filling by crumbling a boiled egg on top.

Don’t forget nuts.

For a little crunch and a healthy dose of fat, incorporate unsalted nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts into your salad. They’ll leave you feeling satisfied for hours to come.

Did you know? You'll need a fatty component to your salad, such as avocado or fish. Without it, you won't be able to absorb as much lutein, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene, which are found in the other healthy vegetables.