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Weight Loss Salads: 3 Key Tips For Healthy Dressings, Veggies And Toppings

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A weight loss diet comes with several requirements and restrictions. It is never easy to give up on your favourite foods and eat the same kind of dishes every day. But if you want to bring some variety to your diet while sticking to your fitness goals, salads can be your saviour. Whipping up different sorts of refreshing salads is easy and rewarding. More and more people nowadays are turning to salads not only as a side dish/ starter but also as a main meal. But if you want to shed those extra kilos, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Here Are 3 Key Tips For Making Healthy Salads For Weight Loss:

1. For veggies, keep fibre and variety in mind:

Remember to choose high-fibre and low-cal veggies (and fruits) for your salads. Foods rich in fibre are known to promote satiety and curb appetite. This is an important factor for those wanting to lose weight. Fibre can also improve gut health, which also affects metabolism and weight management. At the same time, remember to add a variety of veggies to your salads. This ensures you get different nutrients from multiple sources. It also allows you to experiment and find combinations you enjoy. If you like the taste, then you won’t just eat salads but relish them. To get you started, here are some interesting apple salad recipes.

2. Use homemade dressings instead of packaged ones:

Store-bought dressings are often high in sugar, salt, unhealthy fats and additives. These elements can hinder your weight loss progress. It is not difficult to make salad dressings at home. Doing so also enables you to add your favourite spices and seasonings as you wish. Here are the top 3 recommendations:

  • Olive oil-based dressings:

You can never go wrong with light dressings based on extra virgin olive oil. Mix some honey, lime, salt and pepper with the oil – and you get a simple dressing you can pour on top of veggies as well as fruits.

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Even a small amount of balsamic vinegar (the dark sauce here) can elevate your salad. Photo Credit: iStock

Certain types of vinegar can especially benefit those on a weight-loss diet. We suggest trying balsamic vinegar because it has a wonderful flavour that goes with many ingredients. It is low in calories and may help you feel full for longer. Even a small quantity of it can take any salad to the next level. Click here for a quick recipe that uses this dressing.

Creamy and/or mayonnaise dressings can be tricky as they tend to be higher in calories. However, you can opt for low-fat options and control the quantity used. You can also go in for dressing options made with Greek yoghurt or hung curd. If you want to avoid cream completely, here are some salad recipes you must try.

3. Top your salads with protein:

Along with fibre, protein is especially important for healthy weight loss. Protein can keep you satiated and help fight against cravings. This is one of the main reasons why those wanting to lose weight are recommended to follow a high-protein diet. Here are a few topping options that can enhance the protein content of your salad:

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Add raw paneer to your salads to give them a nutritious upgrade. Photo Credit: iStock

Paneer or cottage cheese is a wonderful source of vegetarian protein. It also provides calcium and other essential nutrients. If you are consuming paneer regularly, choose a low-fat variety. This desi cheese also gives a delicious texture and refreshing edge to your salad. Another advantage: paneer doesn’t need to be soaked/ cooked before being consumed. Find a few tasty paneer salad recipes here.
Also Read: How To Consume Paneer For Weight Loss: Key Benefits And Easy Recipes

Beans are another great choice for vegetarian protein. Many types of beans may need to be soaked/ cooked in advance, so this topping may be more time-consuming. However, it is worth the extra effort. Beans also provide fibre, antioxidants, iron and other minerals that are important for your overall health. Click here for easy bean salad recipes.

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Photo Credit: iStock

Adding legumes and lentils to your salad is also a good way to make them protein-rich. They absorb flavours well and also bring variety in terms of texture. If you haven’t tried it before, you could begin by mixing legumes like chickpeas (channa) with your veggies. Click here for a quick recipe.

Chicken is another healthy and yummy topping, provided it is not fried. Opt for boiled/ shredded/ baked/ grilled chicken that keeps oil usage to a minimum. Adding chicken to your salad makes it all the more wholesome and filling. Here’s a unique recipe.

Eggs are packed with protein, calcium and nutrients that can work wonders for weight loss. You can easily boil and add them to your salads to consume them at times other than breakfast. Click here for 5 salad recipes that use eggs.

Remember these points the next time you are planning to make a salad. Feel free to come up with your own salads by mixing your favourite ingredients.
Also Read: Taste The Goodness: 5 Chutneys That Add Zing To Your Weight Loss Journey

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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