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Good and bad salad ingredients for weight loss

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It is easy to make your own salad at home as you have the power to control exactly what goes into it – the freshest and healthiest of ingredients, of course!

But what happens when you go to a restaurant and are faced with a choice of items that would taste just delicious when added to your salad? Do you give in and indulge or are you unaware of the calories it could add to your healthy meal?

Where do you start?

Start by selecting fresh ingredients such as cucumber, lettuce, peppers, sprouts, onion, tomato, grated carrot or beetroot, snap peas, green beans and baby sweetcorn. You can add more of the ones you enjoy and less of the ingredients that are not your favourite. You can avoid the salad dressing, and ask for a few lemon wedges instead.

Go for protein

Next add a source of protein to your salad. This could include a spoonful or two of beans, a small handful of nuts or seeds, or a few strips of grilled skinless chicken. Protein is great for weight loss as it helps to keep us feeling full and builds muscle at the same time.

Look out!

Watch out for ingredients that may be high in fat calories, such as bacon bits, croutons or any food that may be deep fried and loaded with butter or oil...and ditch the dressing!

Unknown ingredients

If you require more information about the ingredients, ask the waiter or restaurant assistant. For example, ask whether tofu or low-fat cheeses are available, or how the salad dressing was prepared.


Remember to select some ingredients in moderation. For example, whilst nuts are healthy, they can add a great number of calories if overeaten, so add a small portion and enjoy their wonderful crunch and flavour.

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