Love them or hate them, salads are undoubtedly a great food to maintain good health. But are there any benefits of salads for weight loss beyond the usual? Let’s find out!
Got weight loss on your mind? Eat a salad! Salads are the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about healthy foods, but they can be so boring! What if we said you can make weight loss fun? Keep reading to know the best salads for weight loss and how to make them delicious.
Are Salads Healthy?
The peeled, sliced, chopped and cubed vegetables, fruits, dry fruits and other elements in a salad add up to its nutritional value, which makes salads undoubtedly a healthy way to lose weight. However, it is important to be mindful of the ingredients you put into your salad. It is also crucial to be careful about the kind of salad dressings you might add as it may increase your calorie intake and promote weight gain.
Health Benefits of Salads for Weight Loss
Salads often consist of vegetables as the main ingredient which are topped with fruits, nuts, eggs, seeds, grains, beans, legumes, etc.
Some of the benefits of having salads on a regular basis include:
1. Rich Source of Fibre
Salads are mostly made up of raw vegetables or fruits which have a high fibre content. Adding vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can increase the fibre content of your salad. Fibre is an important component in foods that slows down digestion and helps keep you feeling full for longer, which curbs your appetite to aid in weight loss by lowering calorie intake.
2. Low in Calories
Keeping a check on your calorie intake is an important task when trying to lose weight. Low-calorie vegetables such as beetroots, broccoli, cabbage, etc. aid in weight loss as the more calories you consume, the more weight you gain.
3. Improved Digestion
Other than the rich fibre content, salads generally are high in water content as well due to the raw vegetables included in them. Fibre also helps improve digestion by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. Thus, incorporating enough fibre and water in your diet eases the process of digestion and further promotes weight loss.
4. Protection from Chronic Diseases
The nutritional content and plant bioactive compounds present in salads can benefit your overall health and protect you against chronic diseases such as obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Unlike oily and greasy foods, salads do not increase your belly fat or overall body fat when made with the right ingredients.
Salad Recipes for Weight Loss
Salads are one of those foods you can prepare yourself easily at home. You have complete control over the type of ingredients you want to incorporate to make your healthy salad for weight loss.
Still, pondering over how to make a salad for weight loss? Keep reading further to know the best recipes of not only veg salads for weight loss but one for eggitarians too!
1. Chickpea Salad
This salad is made with chickpeas, which are rich in protein. Adding other healthy ingredients such as paneer, capsicum, spinach, etc. can boost the nutritional profile of your salad. A high-protein diet can aid in weight loss as it prevents you from binge eating by keeping your stomach satiated for a longer time. Also, protein helps build lean muscles, which may further help your body burn more calories during the day and promote weight loss.
- For salad: Soak, drain and boil 2 cups of white chickpeas. Chop ¾ cup of tomatoes and 1 cup of cucumbers in the form of cubes.
For the mint dressing: Chop ¾ cup whole green onions, ½ cup mint leaves, ½ cup coriander leaves.
- Blend all the ingredients for mint dressing in a blender until a smooth paste is obtained.
- Take a large bowl and mix all the ingredients along with salt as per your taste in the bowl along with the mint dressing.
Serving Size: 4
2. Mexican Salad
Do you have leftover kidney beans or rajma from last night? You can use it to make a healthy Mexican salad quickly. Rajma is rich in protein and fibre, both of which are essential for an effective weight loss diet.
- For salad: Chop ¼ cup of spring onion greens, ¼ cup coriander leaves, ½ cup of low-fat paneer in cubes.
For salsa: Blanch, peel, deseed and chop ¾ cup tomatoes, chop ¼ cup onions (finely), ¾ cup mixed capsicum cubes.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan over medium heat, add onions and saute them for about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes, capsicum, paneer, 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes and salt as per taste to the pan and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes while stirring regularly.
- Combine all the ingredients including the salsa from the pan into a deep bowl and toss everything together.
Serving Size: 4
3. Egg Salad
Eggs are packed with nutrition, and they are also low in calories. They promote effective weight loss by reducing your daily calorie intake and increasing the calories you burn. Apart from this, eggs are also rich in protein which makes them filling for the stomach and helps you snack less during the day.
- Chop 4 medium-sized tomatoes, 2 medium-sized onions, 4 boiled eggs and 3 garlic cloves.
- Take a large mixing bowl and add the onions, tomatoes, garlic and boiled eggs to it.
- Add salt and pepper as per taste and 1 teaspoon olive oil to the bowl and mix everything well. You can add a pinch of toasted sesame seeds for a crunchy texture.
Serving Size: 2
4. Apple, Cabbage and Broccoli Salad
Apple consists mostly of water which makes it filling for the stomach while reducing your calorie intake on consumption. It is also rich in fibre which promotes healthy weight loss. Cabbage is low in calories and may aid in weight loss. Broccoli is not only low in calories but also rich in fibre which is essential for a weight loss diet as it keeps you full for longer.
- Chop 1 cup cabbage, ½ cup capsicum, 1 cup broccoli, ½ cup green onions and 1 cup apple. Grate a small chunk (1 to 1.5 inch) of ginger and crush 2 cloves of garlic.
- Take a large bowl and mix all the ingredients into it and toss it gently.
- Add ¼ cup lemon juice to the mixture in the bowl and toss to combine everything well.
Serving Size: 4
5. Fruits and Nuts Salad
Fruits are low in calories and simultaneously high in fibre, protein, vitamins and other nutrients. The fibre and protein content in fruits can slow down the digestion process and keep you satiated for a longer time. This further aids in weight loss by preventing sudden hunger pangs. Also, studies suggest that consuming nuts in a weight loss diet may further aid in losing weight by reducing your appetite and increasing the feeling of fullness.
Make sure to pick low-calorie fruits that aid in weight loss and limit your intake of high calorie fruits like bananas, mangoes, sapote, etc.
- Chop 1 cup kiwi (peeled), ½ red apple, 6 strawberries, 1 orange, ½ cup walnuts.
- Add all the chopped fruits along with 1 cup grapes in a large mixing bowl.
- Add 1 ½ cup greek yoghurt, and 2 tablespoons of honey to it.
- Mix all the ingredients well, add a dollop of greek yoghurt on top, and serve.
Serving Size: 4
Best Ingredients for a Filling Salad for Weight Loss
The food you consume has a major impact on your weight loss efforts. The important ingredients to add in a salad for weight loss include:
- Veggies, veggies & more veggies: Add as many low calorie vegetables as you can to your salads. Examples include leafy greens such as spinach, kale, lettuce, etc. and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.
- Opt for healthy carbs: Choose to include ingredients that are rich in complex carbohydrates like potatoes, apples, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.
- Don’t forget to add protein: Pack more protein into your salads by adding tofu, paneer, eggs, whole grains such as quinoa, etc.
|AVOID Adding These Ingredients to Your Salads There are certain ingredients that you should avoid while preparing your healthy salad for weight loss. These include:
When to Eat Salad for Weight Loss?
Though salads can be eaten as a whole meal or a snack at any time of the day, it may be best to eat them before having a meal. Consuming a serving of salad before a meal can help fill your stomach before you move on to the next course, helping curb your hunger and discourage overeating. This can help lower your calorie intake.
It is best to consume not more than 2 to 3 bowls of salad per day for weight loss. However, if you have digestion issues, you might not want to eat salads at night as the rich fibre content may cause indigestion.
What are the Risks of the Overconsumption of Salads?
Though highly beneficial due to their high fibre content, salads can cause some digestion-related side effects when consumed more than recommended. Overconsumption of salads can cause symptoms such as stomach bloating as too many raw vegetables and fibre can be hard for the stomach to digest.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Salads that have healthy and nutritious ingredients such as vegetables, fruits and dry fruits are a healthy way to cut down on your calorie consumption and lose weight.
- It is important to be mindful of the ingredients and the kind of salad dressings you might be using as they may increase your calorie intake and further promote weight gain.
- The benefits of having salads on a regular basis include increased fibre intake, reduced calorie intake, improved digestion and protection against chronic diseases such as obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and heart diseases.
- Some of the best salads you can easily prepare at home for weight loss include chickpea salad, Mexican salad, egg salad, apple, cabbage and broccoli salad and fruits and nuts salad.
- Some of the important ingredients that can be added to a salad for weight loss include leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, healthy carbs and protein. This can include spinach, cauliflower, potatoes, apples, tofu, paneer, etc.
- Certain ingredients that you should avoid in your weight loss salad include processed dressings, fried foods and fatty meats and dried fruits.
- Salads can be eaten as a whole meal any time of the day, it may be best to eat it before a meal. Also, if you have digestion issues, avoid salads at night to prevent further indigestion.
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Friendly Asked Questions
Yes, eating salad may help you lose weight effectively. However, when you are eating just salad for weight loss, you might miss out on the other nutrients required to fulfil a balanced diet. So, it is best to make salads a part of a balanced diet, instead of eating just salads.
Yes, some ingredients of a salad, including leafy green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, lettuce, etc. may help burn fat. This is due to the fact that these vegetables are rich in fibre and antioxidants that help boost your body’s metabolism and further aid in reducing fat and body weight. However, it is important to note that no one food can help you target belly fat specifically.
Yes, adding salads to your daily diet can help you lose weight. However, it is important to be careful of the ingredients you are adding to your salad. It should include fibre and protein-rich foods such as leafy greens, fruits and nuts. You should cut back on the usage of fried foods and fatty meats, processed dressings and dried fruits in your salads to keep its calorie count low.
Weight loss can be affected by multiple factors like diet, physical activity, medications and underlying medical conditions. If you are unable to see results despite making changes to your diet and exercise routine, consult a doctor or nutritionist.
If you eat salads on a daily basis you may be cutting down on calories from unhealthy foods and obtaining healthy nutrients from salad. This may help you lose unwanted weight as salads are filled with fibre and antioxidants which promote satiety, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
No, eating salads should not cause weight gain when consumed in moderation and prepared with the right ingredients. Avoid using ready-to-eat, high-calorie salad dressings that are overly processed, deep fried croutons and fatty meats as they are not good for weight loss.
A salad that is rich in proteins and fibre content can be great for weight loss. It should include leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, etc.) and one protein element. Meanwhile, you should keep away from fried foods and fatty meats, processed dressings and dried fruits while preparing salads for weight loss. You can opt for chickpea salad, Mexican salad, egg salad, apple and broccoli salad or a fruit and nuts salad.