With the warmer weather on the way, you may be starting to think of lightening up your diet, turning to salads and other cold food options more frequently. In addition to helping to prevent and treat Type 2 diabetes, healthy salad servings are essential for helping prevent cardiovascular disease. Having the metabolic syndrome, prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, you know your risk of heart disease and stroke is sharply elevated, and you can use all the help you can get in this area. Salads are a great way to fuel your body and promote some additional weight loss so you can feel your best as you shed those layers you’ve been hiding under all winter long.
One mistake diabetics make however, is choosing to only include leafy greens and a protein source in their salad. While both of those are critically important, you also want to make sure you have enough healthy fats and carbohydrates as well. This will keep your energy levels up and your nutrient needs met.
Here are four ingredients to help you do just that…
1. Sliced Apples. Sliced apples make the perfect addition to any salad and will add a hint of sweetness to the dish. Apples are high in fiber so will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and you feeling satisfied after the meal.
This works well with chicken salads or even with some hard boiled egg as the main protein source.
2. Baby Corn. Another good source of carbohydrate to consider tossing into your salad is baby corn. These are going to provide vitamin A as well as fiber, and will help to sweeten up your salad without as much natural sugar as you would take in with the apples above.
If you don’t like baby corn, regular corn can be substituted.
3. Diced Avocado. Diced avocado is one of the healthiest fat sources you should consider adding to your salad. While you will get some fat from whatever salad dressing you are using – assuming you are using a regular one that does contain some dietary fat, avocado will provide unsaturated fat to boost heart heath and help keep your skin and hair looking healthy.
Avocado is also great for reducing blood pressure levels as well, so for anyone with hypertension, it’s a must. Use moderately if you are watching your weight.
4. Toasted Nuts. Finally, toasted nuts are the last form of healthy fat to consider adding to your salads. These will not only provide the unsaturated fats you’re looking for, but also fiber and protein as well.
Pecans, walnuts, cashews, and peanuts all work great here. Just watch serving sizes as the calories will add up quickly. Nuts protect against heart disease and these crunch morsels may help fight Type 2 diabetes as well.
Next time you’re creating a summer salad, keep these foods in mind. Make sure you have a good balance of all three nutrients for optimal nutrition.