Raisin Your Nutrition

– A blog about the energy benefits of raisins –


Take 5 – How to build a better salad

May 17, 2017 by

Spring has sprung and fresh fruits and vegetables are coming into season! Many people think that by eating “just a salad” for lunch every day that they are eating healthy. It’s true that greens and vegetables are low in calories, and provide fiber along with important vitamins and minerals. But if they’re hidden under a mound of dressing, bacon, and blue cheese, what started off as a nutritious salad can turn into a feast that adds up to half a day (or more) of your fat and calorie needs. Here are some ideas on how to keep it wholesome and slim it down.

STEP ONE: Choose a base of dark greens, such as romaine, kale, mixed greens, or spinach – they have more nutrients than iceberg lettuce.

STEP TWO: Add at least 3 colorful antioxidant-packed veggies:

  • beets
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • celery
  • broccoli, cauliflower
  • onions
  • peas
  • mushrooms
  • shredded cabbage

STEP THREE: Add at least two sources of protein:

  • hard-boiled egg
  • chicken breast
  • water-packed tuna or salmon
  • tofu
  • garbanzo beans
  • kidney/black beans
  • walnuts
  • almonds

STEP FOUR: Add a little dried or fresh fruit for antioxidant sweetness:

  • raisins
  • berries
  • apples or pear slices
  • Sun-Maid Salad Toppings

STEP FIVE: Watch the extras! Calories (mostly from fat) can add up quickly:

                Amount Calories

  • fried noodles                                        (½ cup)  172
  • potato salad                                          (½ cup)  179
  • mac salad                                               (½ cup)  220
  • tuna salad                                              (½ cup)  192
  • cheddar cheese                                   (2T)         115


STEP FIVE: “Dress” don’t “drown” your salad with olive or avocado oil and vinegar with lemon, or a lower fat dressing that includes flavorful herbs, spices, or poppy seeds.


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About The Author
Suzanne Nelson

Dr. Nelson recently joined the staff of Bryn Athyn College in Pennsylvania as a nutrition and wellness advisor and sports nutritionist. Previously, she was the Director of Sports Performance Nutrition in the athletic department at the University of California, Berkeley. While in California, she was the team nutritionist for the San Francisco 49ers and provided nutrition consultation to the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors. In addition, Dr. Nelson has advised elite amateur athletes at the national, world, and Olympic level. She is a nationally known speaker in sports nutrition and is the author/editor of several books and numerous scientific journal articles. Dr. Nelson is the Nutrition and Health Advisor for Sun-Maid.

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