There’s nothing healthier than a fresh salad at lunchtime, right?  Wrong. Here’s how extra add-ons can turn your virtuous order into a calorie-filled nightmare…

Whilst a delicious and nutritious bowl of salad can offer a body boosting lunchtime meal, all too often we negate the benefits with high-calorie toppings. One of the worse culprits of all being croutons.

Croutons may offer a well-needed crunch and some satisfying sustenance to a bowl of leaves and vegetables but – in terms of nutrition – they are severely lacking. Often fried, croutons can be high in saturated fat (depending on what they have been fried in), high in carbohydrates and high in salt, as they are often heavily seasoned before they get to your plate.

While nuts are often higher in calories than croutons, they also contain far more benefits including vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Nuts also provide plenty of protein – which is especially important if you prefer a vegetarian or vegan diet – and are low on the glycaemic index, meaning they will keep you fuller for longer, unlike croutons, which are often made from white bread with a very high glycaemic index.

EAT THIS

Carbs

14g

NUTS

Protein

15g

PER 100G

Sodium

2mg

NOT THAT

Carbs

63g

CROUTONS

Protein

11g

PER 100G

Sodium

1238mg

There are many different salad combinations based around certain
nuts as the star ingredient. Try some of these to keep lunchtime a lively
– and of course, healthy – affair.

  • Rocket, avocado, red onion and walnuts with lemon, olive oil and mustard dressing
  • [add some king prawns for a fish option]
  • Spinach, feta cheese, red pepper and pine nuts with sherry vinegar dressing
  • [add some grilled lamb for a meat option]
  • Mixed leaves, broccoli, red apple, green olives, dates and almonds with lime, olive oil and black pepper dressing
  • [add some chicken breast for a meat option]

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