SMITA WEE shows you what you are doing wrong.
Photos Radius Images/Corbis
Using only green veggies
The colour of a vegetable indicates the kind of nutrients it has. For example, red vegetables derive their hue from a natural plant pigment called lycopene, a powerful antioxidant said to reduce the risk of cancer; white vegetables like garlic contain allicin, a phytochemical known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Tip: Add vibrant-hued vegetables like capsicum, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and purple cabbage to your salad – it’s the easiest way to make sure you get a good range of nutrients.
Choosing the wrong dressing
To find one healthier and lower in calories, read the label: ideally, it should not have any cream or oil.
Tip: If you make your own dressing, go with Greek yogurt hot sauce, which is easy to DIY. It is made up of just Greek yogurt, sriracha hot sauce and finely minced Italian parsley. Mix one tablespoon of Greek yogurt, ⅛ tablespoon of sriracha hot sauce and ⅛ tablespoon of minced parsley to get dressing for one salad portion.
Having iceberg lettuce as a base
This lettuce is high in water content but has less nutritional value than other greens.
Tip: Opt for darker greens like spinach, dandelion greens or watercress – their deep colour indicates that they are richer in folate, minerals and phytochemicals. That’s good news for your overall health!
EXPERT SOURCES: Aloysius Ong and Timothy Tan, co-founders of Foodaesthetic; Alex Ang, food and nutrition adviser, Foodaesthetic