Healthy Choice Voice: Spice up your Salad

(Photo by Jillian Torre)

by Jillian Torre and Amy Rice

When applying for college, everybody knows “the freshman fifteen”, beer guts, and food babies are inevitable. However, there are ways to ensure that you will not have to go up a jean size when attending college. Making small, simple, and healthy changes in your diet will help you maintain your high metabolism and teenage body. The Healthy Choice Voice will be your guide to surviving the college-dining experience. Discussing, this issue we will show the ins and outs of how to make a nutritious and delicious waist-slimming salad.

Start your salad by applying dark leafy greens. They are much healthier and full of nutrients. Instead of choosing iceberg lettuce, which lacks these nutrients, try out romaine or baby spinach.

Keep your salad fun and filled with color. Add lots of vegetables for flavor and filling. You can choose your favorites, but personally, we find that tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, olives, corn, peppers, and onions are our favorites. If you are a citrus lover, don’t be afraid to add in fruits from the baskets around the dining hall.

You may find yourself hungry soon after your meal unless you add necessary proteins. Chicken, tuna, and beans are a great way to help keep you feeling satisfied longer and give you that extra boost of energy to make it through those late night study sessions. If you can’t find chicken at the salad bar, don’t be afraid to ask at the deli station.

In moderation, adding cheese to your salad is a good source of dairy. Just make sure not to overload, as cheese is high in sodium.
While croutons may be tasty, they contain a lot of oils and are not the healthiest crunchy topping. To fulfill your crunchy needs opt for carrots or sunflower seeds instead.

The dressing you choose is the most important variable in creating a healthy and delicious salad. Choosing a creamy salad dressing such as ranch or blue cheese can top your salad calorie count to over 1,000. Oil based dressings such as balsamic vinaigrette or a splash of oil and vinegar will give your salad flavor without counteracting the nutrition and low calorie count of the salad. Putting your dressing on the side and adding it in increments as you eat can decrease the amount of salad dressing being consumed as well.

Starting with a salad will help to fill you up and prevent from overeating. If you are looking for a small side salad pick a lettuce with only one or two lighter toppings and a light dressing. However, if your salad is your whole meal remember that you are not limited to the salad bar. To spice up your salad check out the deli, action, entrée, and grill stations for other tasty toppings.

Check out our next issue for more great tips for eating healthy on the Hudson.