Friday, October 7, 2011

Healthy Choices Green

Our Daily Green has written multiple articles about healthy food choices, growing and canning food at home and how to cook that food with various recipes. The question of how to eat healthy when not at home is more complicated. Fortunately, most restaurants and cafeterias now have a salad bar, where someone can choose the exact foods they desire.

salad bar
Salad bars can be a hidden pit of unhealthy fat and nutritionally devoid foods with their mayonnaise laden salads, synthetic bacon bits, oily dressings, and calorie dense soups. Yet, with some education, salad bars are frequently the best choice mindful eaters can make. 

Salad bars are also a plethora of high vitamin and high fiber choices. The simplest way to get started is to think of a rainbow. As a general rule, colorful foods are higher in vitamins and antioxidants than light colored foods. For example, spinach has a higher nutritional punch than iceberg lettuce. Some of the healthiest choices from a salad bar include leafy green lettuces, carrots, beets, raw broccoli, peas, red pepper. Look for raw vegetables instead of marinated or cooked, as raw will contain the highest level of nutrition. 

Consider any sort of canned beans, like garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans. They will add fiber, protein and folate to the plate. Sunflower seeds and raw nuts are an excellent source of Vitamin E and fiber, while lean protein such as chicken, tuna, tofu or hard boiled eggs will round out the salad. 

Top the salad with a light sprinkling of salt/pepper and a shake of oil and vinegar instead of preservative heavy dressings. Enjoy your salad with the comfort of knowing you've made healthy and nutritious choices. 

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