Salads are a great mealtime option if you’re aiming to eat healthy and shape up for summer. They’re also especially convenient for people who find themselves always on the go. The only problem? Many salads aren’t as healthy as they promise, leading you to consume unwanted calories rather than cut back.
But don’t fret—there are easy ways you can modify these classic dishes to be better for you. Here are some healthy twists on your favorite salads that will help you revitalize and reshape your bod for summer.
With cheesy potatoes, fresh onions and greens, potato salad is a delicious summertime dish. The bad news? Potatoes are a high-calorie vegetable, and unless you’re exercising on the regular, it might be worth your while to find an alternative. You can replace the potatoes with a lower calorie veggie like parsnips or cauliflower, or use lemon juice and oil instead of mayonnaise.
Coleslaw is another salad that’s super quick to whip up and makes for a great side dish, especially for barbecues. But this item also contains the calorie-heavy culprit, mayonnaise. As with potato salad, you can make your coleslaw with oil and vinegar dressing as a healthy alternative to mayo. For something a little more filling, blend Greek yogurt with vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar before coating your favorite sliced veggies.
This dish lets us celebrate a childhood favorite in salad form. You definitely don’t want to take this mouth-watering item off the menu completely, especially since it’s so easy to prepare and take on the go. However, you should find ways to lighten up this calorie-heavy dish. Replace the mayo with a 50/50 combo of non-fat plain Greek yogurt and light mayonnaise, use whole-wheat noodles that will boost your fiber intake and add any and all fresh vegetables you can get your hands on.
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a refreshing pasta salad at barbecues and get-togethers. This cold salad can often be packed with calories, so consider this fabulous twist. Take the “pasta” out of “pasta salad” and replace your penne or fettuccine noodles with zucchini pasta. A dish easily made vegan or vegetarian, zucchini pasta salad will surprise you with its rich flavors and light, crispy texture.
We all tout the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, but you’d be surprised at how the calorie count can soar in some of its classic dishes. When tossed with feta cheese and olives, a Greek salad can easily become a sodium- and calorie-rich experience. Switch out your regular feta cheese for fat-free feta, and consider leaving the olives on the side or using low sodium pitted olives as an alternative.
There you have it! These simple, almost effortless switches will keep your salad calorie count low and your health and energy at an all-time high for the days ahead. Bring a healthy salad to your social events and barbecues, and feel just as good about it as your guests are bound to!