Yes, You Can Eat Too Much Salad
Anyone who has ever attempted to revamp their diet can relate to the tendency to load up on all things green and crunchy to get the job done. Salads are super healthy, so if you eat a ton of salads, then you’ll be super healthy, too, right? Not so fast. Nutrition perks aside, there is such a thing as eating too much salad.
We know, you’re floored. How could that possibly be true?! Well, let’s break this down a bit.
First, if you’re truly overhauling all that you eat in the name of your health, then you probably weren’t eating a ton of fresh veggies to begin with, right? So when you go from consuming very little green to lots and lots of green, you shock your digestive system pretty dramatically. Raw vegetables are loaded with dietary fiber that, yes, is good for you, but it can cause some serious intestinal discomfort if you don’t gradually up your intake. It’s not uncommon to feel gassy, bloated, constipated and straight-up uncomfortable when you make this health leap too quickly. That roughage is, well, rough.
Another issue with this salad madness is that, unless you make the most dynamic, loaded veggie plates out there, you’re probably skimping on other important nutrients in the process. Salad greens and common toppings will give you an exceptional amount of key vitamins and minerals, but you could be missing vital proteins and fats if you’re not topping that baby with grilled chicken or tofu and drizzling on a nice dose of extra-virgin olive oil. Variety in your diet is how you make sure that your body is getting all of the different nutrients it needs to fuel itself properly. So unless you’re a meal prep master, chomping on basic salads for a minimum of two meals out of your day is leaving you with some pretty large nutritional gaps.
So what should you do? Everything in moderation, friends. Eat your salad if that’s what makes you happy, but don’t deprive your body of other important food groups it needs to thrive. And when it comes to fiber, it’s best to give your body time to adjust to a new dietary lifestyle, creating incremental changes over the course of a couple of weeks. That way, you can reap all the rewards of that boosted nutrition and avoid all of the uncomfortable side effects that make you want to jump right back to the land of grilled cheese sandwiches and French fries.
In the meantime, cooked vegetables are a great compromise. They won’t leave your stomach churning because the heat breaks down some of that fiber before it reaches your digestive tract, and they’ll still make you feel proud AF that you’re hitting your #dietgoals. Just don’t forget to sauté them in some yummy EVOO and add some lean protein to the pan while you’re at it. Balance, baby!