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Whether you’re actively pursuing medical weight loss, simply want to maintain your current shape, or hope to ward off age-related chronic diseases, protein makes up an extremely important part of your eating plan. But when you’re also focused on eating more fruits and veggies, it can feel difficult to combine all of your nutrition goals into one meal.
That’s why salads are so popular. Whether you prepare them at home or order one at a restaurant, a salad can provide a great mix of the right nutrients. And when done well, they’re delicious! Just remember these six easy tricks for adding more protein to your salads.
Toss in a handful of beans. About a half cup, to be exact, provides a full serving of beans. Black beans add rich flavor to a Southwest-style salad, while white beans complement a Caprese salad well. Don’t be afraid to experiment with beans, and you can add a healthy dose of protein plus filling fiber to your veggie meals.
Try eggs as an addition or even a dressing. A chopped boiled egg adds protein, plus other nutrients, to a chef salad. And even though it sounds a bit unusual, some runny egg yolks over greens can make for a delicious dressing!
Go a little nutty. Forgo the croutons, which add crunch but not a lot of nutritional value, and opt for nuts instead. Walnuts or pecans make excellent salad toppings, and they add protein plus brain-healthy oils to your meal.
Opt for chickpeas. Chickpeas make another great alternative to croutons. They’re flavorful, crunchy, full of protein, and can be the perfect option for anyone allergic to nuts.
Add a serving of lean meat. Thinly sliced chicken, turkey, or steak add a lot of flavor plus protein to salads. But you can also get creative with ingredients like fish or shrimp.
Sprinkle in some chia seeds. Chia seeds add a little protein to your salads, and also some heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
Need more ideas for adding protein to your meals? Schedule an appointment with us to discuss a medical weight loss or maintenance plan, and we’ll help you revamp your eating plan.