If you are not in the mood to add grain to your salad, you can also try pairing your salad with half of a sandwich.
2. Embrace fat-based dressing.
Studies suggest that fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are better absorbed when fat is consumed with them. In fact, in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers compared how well participants absorbed nutrients after eating salads with varying levels of fat. The participants who ate a salad with a fat-free dressing had almost no absorption of the nutrients alpha- and beta-carotene (precursors to vitamin A) and lycopene. The people who had a fatty dressing, on the other hand, had a much higher amount of these nutrients circulating in their blood after the salad was consumed. The study notes that in order for maximal absorption of vitamins and minerals, at least 6 grams of added fat should be consumed with any salad.
Along with helping you absorb nutrients, fat is also important for helping you feel full and satisfied since it slows gastric emptying. So what’s the takeaway here for your own salad? Whether it’s in the form of salad dressing, or in tasty add-ons like avocado, oil, cheese, or nuts and seeds, you absolutely need to make room for fats in your salad if you want it to act like a meal.
3. Don’t forget about protein.
For most people, I recommend getting 15 to 30 grams of protein per meal and having at