Fresh, colorful and easy to prepare, mixed salads are especially popular in the summer. But beware: behind their image of balance and lightness, they are not always as healthy as we imagine. Some recipes, although famous, are sometimes more caloric than a dish of meat in sauce. And if their ingredients are not chosen wisely, they can lack a lot of protein, essential to generate a lasting feeling of satiety and guarantee the maintenance of muscle mass, as explained by Dr. Hervé Le Derff, doctor at the thalassotherapy center. USA Alliance Pornic (Loire-Atlantique).
What are the main drawbacks to avoid?
DOCTOR HERVÉ LE DERFF. Many mixed salads on the grill menu are unbalanced and do not provide all the nutrients necessary for the body to function properly. Most are too high in fat and/or too low in protein. With its fried croutons, Parmesan cheese and mayonnaise-based dressing, the classic Caesar salad, for example, contains a lot of saturated fatty acids, which are harmful to the cardiovascular system. The Landes salad has nothing to envy with its duck breast and candied mollettes. As for the oriental tabbouleh, it does not contain enough vegetables and no protein. You can occasionally eat these salads for lunch, as long as you compensate in the evening with a good serving of protein, cooked vegetables, dairy and fruit. The most balanced traditional recipe is the Niçoise salad as it includes a starch, rice (frequently present even if not part of the ingredients of the authentic recipe, editor’s note)vegetables, tomatoes, onion and green salad, and protein, boiled egg and anchovies or natural tuna.
Can we settle for a simple plate of raw vegetables for lunch?
Eating too many raw vegetables is not beneficial because it can lead to bloating and digestive irritation without being satiating enough. Indeed, a meal consisting exclusively of raw vegetables does not “last” until the evening, due to a lack of cereals and proteins, hence the risk of hypoglycemia and mid-afternoon cravings.
How to compose a truly balanced salad?
The most balanced salad is the one you make yourself. It is necessary to provide a little raw and a little cooked for better digestibility. Vegetables should represent half of the plate (radish wedges, fennel slices, green beans, etc.) and starchy foods a quarter of the plate (quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, etc.), as well as proteins For a sweet touch, a few strawberries, sliced peaches or diced melon are welcome. It is also possible to sprinkle your salad with sprouted seeds to give it flavor and increase volume, while enriching it with enzymes that facilitate digestion. As for proteins, it is better to bet on the variety: sardines, prawns, ham… Vegetarians can opt for legumes (lentils, chickpeas…) and seaweed such as wakame or dulse. For seasoning, I recommend not skipping the oil, even if you watch your line. If possible, prefer walnuts, camelina or rapeseed, decorated with aromatic herbs to increase your intake of vitamin C.