What Can I Eat? Mix-and-Match Salad

By Dorothy Mitchell (LaVonne) on September 1, 2011

This article is from dLife and gives us information on vegetables and salads to enhance our healthy diet experience.

Mix-and-Match Salads
 
 
You may have made an attempt at healthy eating in the past — maybe you decided you would eat more salads. So you started eating a daily healthy salad made up of lettuce, grilled chicken breast, and "lite" salad dressing. But after eating it, you never felt satisfied, and ended up grabbing a bag of chips or candy bar to get you through the rest of the day. This common mistake is the reason so many people feel like there is no way they will ever be able to stick to healthy eating.
 
A healthy salad does not have to be boring and unsatisfying. In fact, most people need to add more to their salad to make it nutritious and filling. A salad with only chicken breast is extremely low in calories and fat and will not leave you feeling satiated. On the other hand, some people ruin salads by topping them with too much salad dressing, bacon bits, dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries, croutons, and accompanying them with high-carb sides, such as potato or pasta salad. By the time the “healthy” salad is complete, you can barely see any vegetables.

Here is how to create a salad that will give you the right balance of vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, good fats, and lean protein. On the following three pages are lists of superfoods from four food groups: vegetables, lean proteins, healthy carbs, and good fats. Choose one or more items from each of these groups for a satisfying, healthy salad that won’t spike your blood sugar....
 
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Make It Very Veggie

Vegetables are obviously an essential part of a healthy salad. This group provides an array of great nutrients and very little carbohydrates, so fill up your salad with a variety of colorful, crisp vegetables.
 
Group One: Vegetables
Dark green lettuces such as: romaine, red leaf, or spring mix
Cucumbers
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Peppers
Tomatoes
Zucchini
Spinach
Celery
Radish
Green beans
Mushrooms
Scallions
 
Power of Protein

Protein is an essential part of a healthy salad as it does not raise blood sugar and helps fill you up. Plus, protein is a necessary nutrient for our body.
 
Group Two: Protein Foods
Tuna
Shrimp
Skinless chicken breast
Ham (higher in sodium, so limit)
Turkey breast
Hard-boiled egg
Fish
Lean beef
Low-fat cottage cheese
Soy-based meat substitutes
 
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Healthy Carbohydrates

The foods below are good sources of fiber and contain about 15 grams carbohydrate per serving:
 
Group Three: Healthy Carbs
½ cup beans such as kidney, garbanzo, black or pinto
1 small apple, sliced
½ pear, sliced
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries or blackberries
5 100% whole grain crackers (served on side or crumbled for “croutons”)
 
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Go for Good Fats

The foods below contain monunsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are good for heart health and do not raise blood sugar -- a double dose of health benefits for people with diabetes. Fat helps provide a feeling of fullness, so it will also make your healthy salad more satisfying. If you are looking to lose weight, watch portion size (aim for a small handful of one of these foods) since these foods are more concentrated sources of calories.

Group Four: Good Fats
Avocado slices
Olives (high in sodium, so limit)
Almonds
Walnuts
Pecans
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Pine nuts
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Salad Dressings
With so many different flavors from these four food groups, you don’t need to drench your salad in dressing. Read labels and check carbohydrate content and ingredients on dressing. A simple addition of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice), along with your favorite low-sodium seasonings, can make a great healthy salad dressing.
 
(So see, we can have salads and salads and more salads)
 
Good Eats
LaVonne

Related articles:
lettuce, vegetables

About Dorothy Mitchell
I was a nurse for 12 years and then about 7 years ago I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2. Since then I have learned more about my disease and its complications. I have also learned to manage my blood sugar with diet and oral medication.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Good advice. AlohaHoya Nov 22, 2012 10:33 PM 13
I Love salads! KyWoods Sep 3, 2011 2:06 PM 1

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