Bulk up with salad and stay slim
Don’t be dull and boring with your salads. Expand your views, shrink your waistline and enjoy summer.
Yes, use the common lettuce, carrot, tomato and cucumber but lets add a huge range of other fruit and vegetables and protein rich, low fat foods as well. Make it a main meal salad.
Add an interesting low fat dressing based on yoghurt or balsamic vinegar and you can have a delicious meal.
Colour It Healthy
Create your salads from a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables that are rich in nutrients, fibre and phytochemicals.
Eating two or more fruits and five vegetables a day has been associated with helping protect against certain types of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis as well as with aiding in weight control. The Australian Dietary Guidelines suggests eat more fruits and vegetables breads and cereals. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily with a range of colours.
Colour in Fruit and Vegetables
Red: Tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, red grapes, raspberries, red capsicum
Orange: Apricots, rockmelon, carrots, paw paw, peaches, oranges
Green: Broccoli, lettuce, Italian and Asian greens, spinach, chives, peas, kiwi fruit, green capsicum. When considering green plant foods you might also think about adding herbs for flavour and colour. Some possibilities include: basil, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, and rosemary
White: Cabbage, cauliflower, onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, potatoes, bananas
Purple/Blue: Blueberries, blackberries, red cabbage, sultanas
Yellow: Corn, yellow capsicum, pumpkin
Prepare it Low-Fat
Dress your salad with non-fat or low-fat dressings. Or if you use a higher fat dressing, reduce the fat in other parts of your meal. One-quarter cup of a high-fat dressing can quickly add 4200 KJ (300 calories) or more to your salad!
Likewise, emphasize lower-fat forms of meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products in salads. Or, balance them with lower-fat choices in the rest of your meal.
For a flavourful oil-based dressing, consider olive oil. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat. It can help lower total blood cholesterol without lowering HDL or "good" cholesterol. Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat."
Have a look at the Australian Guide for Healthy Eating to see how salads can fit into your balanced daily eating plan.
Rather than serving salads as an accompaniment, make it the main dish by adding protein rich foods and bread type products (rice, pasta, potato).
Protein rich : add meat, poultry, seafood, cooked dry beans, eggs and/or nuts.
Dairy Group : add lower fat cheeses or slivers of regular fat cheese and use yoghurt-based dressing flavoured with honey and mustard.
Bread Group : make pasta, rice your base or make an edible bowl from a tortilla. (See Chef in a basket recipe)
Increase The Volume And Reduce The Kilojoules
When you eat low-kilojoule-low dense, high-volume foods, you'll feel like you've eaten sufficient though you've eaten less kilojoules. The result: you can lose weight and satisfy your hunger without feeling deprived.
Your body has many 'satiety' systems that signal that you've eaten enough, and high-volume foods activate most of them. A food that is of high energy density provides a large amount of kilojoules in a small weight, while a food of low energy density has fewer kilojoules for the same weight. With foods of lower energy density, you can eat a larger portion for the same kilojoules. It seems that over a period of a few days, an individual eats about the same weight of food. If you choose foods with fewer kilojoules in relation to their weight and volume, you can feel full on fewer kilojoules.
As an example, for 4200 kilojoules (1000 calories), you could eat 1/4 cup of sultanas OR 1- 2/3 cups of grapes. Chances are, you'd feel full on less than this amount of grapes and consume fewer kilojoules. Or, you could eat 4 cups (300 grams) of Garden salad no dressing for 168 KJ (40 calories) or 1 meat pie for 1884 KJ (450 calories).
Higher energy foods are not necessarily unhealthy. It's important to include a mix of higher- and lower-energy-dense foods in your eating plan. Just shift the balance of your foods toward more lower- energy-dense ones. Broths, juices and lettuce alone wouldn't be enough to constitute a healthy diet.
Whenever you add fat and sugar to low -energy density foods, you increase their energy density. So, another way to keep energy density low is to go easy on the fat and sugar.
Which brings us to salads. Fruits and vegetables, the main ingredients in most salads, are very low in energy density. Vegetables prepared without added fat have the lowest energy density of the food groups. Yet, they're loaded with nutrients.
Salads, when made with lots of fruits and vegetables, are a great way to increase the volume of your meal, keep total kilojoules down and pack in a lot of nutrition. Just remember to keep the dressings in check.
Ideas for the preceding have been summarised from the book:” Feel full on Fewer Calories” (Harper Collins, 2000) by Barbara Rolls, PhD, and former president of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and journalist Robert A Barnett.
Check out some of recipes on the web site that are going to add interest and flavour to this summer.
Added to site on : Thursday, 24 January 2002