When people think of healthy food, a salad is the first thing that comes to mind. And though salad is one of the best foods for overall general health, there are so many other nutritious options that can significantly benefit your health and you can still enjoy your diet.
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A diet without salad would not be ideal as lettuce, tomatoes, and a mixture of healthy greens is always good, you can replace it with other healthy options that we will discover in this article.
Healthy Foods Other Than Salad
Proteins are a must and should be the main course of your meal. Salads are often seen as a side dish or as a snack. With that being said, here are some healthy choices you can try as a side dish or snack so you can avoid the boring old salad.
- Fruits – The most obvious choice, fruits are the perfect replacement for a typical salad. Fruits such as mangoes, berries, apples, and bananas are loaded with many healthy nutrients that you can find in a salad. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and can be made in many different varieties.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a great breakfast or snack as it has an abundance of healthy minerals and vitamins and can be eaten with other foods as a side dish. Oats are also a great source of fibre that can aid digestion, especially when you’re eating a lot of protein and not many greens.
- Roasted Vegetables – Roasted vegetables are often used as a substitute or to accompany a salad. Broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, and other vegetables are great when roasted or even steamed and is a warmer alternative to salad.
- Hummus and Vegetable Sticks – An easy snack to have is hummus and vegetable sticks. It’s easy to prepare, extremely nutritious and is the perfect substitute for the salad.
- Quinoa – a perfect substitute for salad, quinoa is a plant-based food with protein and a sufficient amount of all nine amino acids, the building blocks of muscle and protein synthesis. Quinoa is also high in fibre and contains iron, potassium, vitamin E, B and plenty of beneficial antioxidants.
- Blended Juice – People who don’t like the taste of certain vegetables can blend them all up and have it as a drink. You get all the healthy nutrients of all the vegetables, can be conveniently prepared and consumed and you don’t have to spend time chewing on vegetables you don’t particularly like.
- Sweet Potato Fries – Gaining huge popularity in the last couple of years, sweet potato fries have become a popular side dish and snack all over the world. Not only are they a great alternative to French fries, but they also taste great. Just don’t overeat as they are deep-fried.
- Guacamole – Homemade guacamole is always best as you know there are no added preservatives. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants. Making guacamole with a bit of salt, pepper, spices and lemon juice can work as a great dip for corn chips and vegetable sticks.
Knowing Your Macros
Whenever you start or consider a new diet, always understand that reaching your daily recommended intake for nutrients is the key. Making sure that you are reaching your recommended intakes will ensure your health is sustainable no matter what type of food you’re eating.
Knowing your macronutrients is also an essential part of selecting your foods. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your body, manipulating your proteins, carbohydrates and fats are what will dictate what you eat.
Understand that if you can monitor and manipulate your fats carbohydrates and proteins, you can eat almost anything. For example, if you are aiming to maintain body weight, 40% carbohydrates and proteins and 20% fats should do.
Once you understand that, figure out how many calories you can consume per day. From there you can eat whatever foods you like so long as you are sticking within your macronutrients as well as your calorie intake. However, avoid foods with additives, unwanted ingredients and reach your RDI of vitamins and minerals.
The Importance of Exercise
Getting sufficient physical activity is just as important as eating healthy. One cannot and should not go without the other. Getting a balance of both will ensure that not only are you fueling your body with healthy nutrients but that your body is constantly moving, maintaining a healthy weight and staying in good shape. Exercise also helps you to grow muscles as well as improve cardiovascular health and endurance levels.
Get the Right Advice
When it comes to dieting, you can only go off what your body is telling you. If you are feeling sluggish or looking overweight, then exercise more and eat healthier. However, if you notice that you are gaining or losing too much weight and not sure what is causing it, speak with your doctor.
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