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Is your salad really healthy?
Samreedhi Sharma Goel
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April 19, 2007

Remember your mom standing by the table, insisting you chow down all your vegetables? Eating a salad with every meal is definitely a great idea, and has several health benefits.

If you make the right vegetable choices, you can increase your fibre intake considerably. Fibre is the undigested carbohydrate present in most vegetables, fruits, cereals and pulses -- it add bulk to and softens digested food by absorbing water, thereby allowing for regular, healthy bowel movements.

Adequate amounts of fibre are a great help when it comes to easing constipation. Fibre is also responsible for binding excess cholesterol to bodily wastes and ensuring its passage from the body. What's more, a fibre-rich meal causes blood sugar levels to rise very gradually, and prevents you from experiencing a 'sugar crash' (a sudden drop in blood sugar levels).

Eating plenty of salads can enhance your complexion greatly, and may help pull the plug on an expanding waistline.

However -- pay attention closely, now -- salads are not always low calorie. The vegetables you choose, and more importantly the dressings you use, can dramatically increase the fat content, and thereby the calories. You can judge for yourself from the information on some popular salad dressings provided below:

Ranch dressing

Ranch dressing consists primarily of mayonnaise and sour cream (hung curd).

Two tablespoons (148 calories, of which the fat content contributes to 140 calories) = Walking for 26.5 minutes at the rate of 5.5 kmph

French dressing

French salad dressings usually contain two main ingredients -- vinegar and olive oil.

Two tablespoons (146 calories, of which the fat content contributes to 130 calories) = Walking for 26 minutes at the rate of 5.5 kmph

Thousand Island dressing

The main ingredients of this dressing are mayonnaise, hardboiled eggs and olives.

Two tablespoons (118 calories, of which the fat content contributes to 100 calories) = Walking for 21 minutes at the rate of 5.5 kmph

Mayonnaise

One of the most popular salad dressings, mayonnaise consists mainly of vegetable oil and egg yolk.

Two tablespoons (114 calories, of which the fat content contributes to 88 calories) = Walking for 20 minutes at the rate of 5.5 kmph

Italian dressing

The main ingredients found in this dressing are vinegar, vegetable oil and Parmesan cheese.

Two tablespoons (86 calories, of which the fat content contributes to 76 calories) = Walking for 15 minutes at the rate of 5.5 kmph

Salad dressing tips

Here are some ways in which you can 'dress up' your salad without adding on the excess calories:


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