A skinny salad sounds like a given. But…
Some salads can be waistline busters thanks to jumbo sizing and an overload of high-cal ingredients. That’s why you always want to be wary of eating salads at a restaurant. But if you skip certain ingredients, like dressing or protein, your salad will be too skimpy, making you prone to hunger pangs soon after.
So what are the ideal ingredients to get that perfect healthy mix? Here’s what Digest Diet author Liz Vaccariello suggests, and what studies show can help with weight loss:
Use an oil-based salad dressing
Here’s why: Many nutrients—specifically vitamins A, D, E, and K—are fat soluble, which means your body can’t absorb and use them without some fat present. So a fat-free dressing is actually counterintuitive! In fact, a small 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate salads with a soybean oil-based dressing better absorbed nutrients in their salad veggies than those eating the same salad without the oil-based dressing. And the more oil (the max was about 2 tablespoons in the study), the better those nutrients were absorbed. Plus, other research shows unsaturated fatty acids can help melt belly fat and make your salad more filling. Even better? Toss the oil with vinegar, a proven fat releaser: Studies show it can help prevent blood sugar spikes after meals.