Eating salads is a great way to curb your appetite and add nutrients to your diet. But salad staples may up your fat and calorie intake more than you realize.

Before preparing your salad plate take a moment to look over the selection, so you can have healthy choices in mind beforehand. When you do begin assembling your salad, pile up a large amount of leafy greens right away. Try to take up about three-fourths of your plate with greens, so you'll have less room for high-cal stuff. This is how salads help for weight loss.

Some of the most nutritious foods that can be added are also the tastiest and lowest in fat and calories. Always look forward  to add these veggies to every salad:

Beets, Peppers, Red cabbage, Carrots, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Beans, Sprouts, Onions, Peas, Mushrooms.

If you have never eaten fruits in your salads, try adding cranberries, tangerine sections, sliced strawberries, apples slices or red grapes. They'll add sweetness that you may miss if you go sans dressing, and they'll boost your salad's nutrition, too.

How to Give Your Salad Staying Power

To make your salad stick to your ribs, it is important to add a protein source. Some good protein choices are:

Hard-boiled eggs, Egg whites, grilled chicken, grilled salmon, water-packed tuna, pan-grilled tofu, low fat cottage cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese, black beans, lentils, sprouts etc.

How to lower the Dressing Calories

Creamy salad dressings, such as ranch and blue cheese, mayonnaise etc really pump up the fat and calorie counts of your salads. This is due to the fact that creamy salad dressings are often mayo-or sour cream-based. These creamy dressings also have saturated fat, and eating too much can increase cholesterol and raise your risk of developing heart diseases. This is how salads help for weight loss.

Finding a reduced-or low-fat dressing is always challenging. Not only you have to check for taste until you find one you like, but as with all other food choices, you will need to always check and compare the nutrition labels. It's possible that a reduced-fat dressing could have more calories than a regular kind. Typically, when fat is removed from a reduced-fat product, something else is added to compensate, such as sugar (which accounts for the extra calories) or salt. Look for reduced-fat dressings with 100 calories or less per 2 tablespoon serving.

If you don't find a light dressing that suits you, consider making your own. Oil and vinegar is a good choice, if used in moderation. Simply combine one part olive oil to two parts vinegar, adding additional herbs and spices to taste.

Other calorie-cutting options include adding the juice from a few lemon wedges to your salad or using picante sauce or salsa as dressing. If you really crave regular dressing, you can dilute it with either lemon juice or vinegar to cut calories and fat. If you find a regular dressing recipe that you like, healthier substitutes such as reduced-fat yogurt, buttermilk, or cottage cheese can replace mayo, and tomato juice or fruit juice can be used to replace the oil required in the recipe.