Should You Eat A Salad Before Your Meal?

In almost every restaurant in Dublin, CA that offers complete meals, the waitress or waiter serves the salad first. Health wise, should you eat a salad before your meal, with your meal or should you eat it after the main course. It’s traditional in America, but not necessarily in other countries. Since the brain doesn’t release leptins, the hormones that make you feel full, immediately, if you want to lose weight, it only makes sense to fill up on lower calorie foods, saving the main dish and dessert for last. However, other countries serve salads at different points in the meal for very good reasons.

Salads in France and Italy come with a meal or after the main course.

The logic for these differences seems rational also. Salads are fibrous and because of that, can help aid digestion. They’re light and full of liquid, which also helps cleanse the palate. Salads traditionally in both France and Italy are often served with a vinaigrette, but recently have come to look more like the American salad, loaded with extras like protein sources and other vegetables and drenched in thick dressings. That changes the overall health benefits of serving it after or with a meal. The olive oil used in Italian salad dressings is also considered a digestive aid with the vinegar cleansing the palate for the wine and dessert.

Salads are normally part of Asian cuisine.

Asian meals tend to combine flavors and food textures in their meals, unlike the Western cuisine that separates each part of the meal. Instead, there are multiple dishes, some with raw vegetables and some with cooked vegetables that begin the meal. Of course, like any broad generalization, it will vary from nation to nation and area to area. Even though there is an assortment of cold vegetables, they’re not served like a salad that has a dressing. They’re usually decorative and festive to begin the meal. These vegetables, however, are often served before the main dishes that are lower in fiber and higher in calories.

Some segments of Indian culture support eating salads after the main dish.

If you follow ancient health treatments, you’ve heard Ayurvedic medicine. Its principles are more about staying well than traditional Western medicine. This practice is traditional in India. They believe that raw and cooked foods shouldn’t be mixed. According to the Ayurvedic practice, eating a salad at least 20 minutes before the main dish helps separate the two.

  • Whether you eat the salad before the main dish, during or afterward, eating more vegetables can help you lose weight and be healthier.
  • If you follow the belief of the Indian Ayurvedic culture, you’ll eat more slowly to separate the warm from the cold food. That can also help you eat less and lose weight.
  • One study found that people who ate salad at any point of a pasta meal at 11% less pasta. However, people who ate salad before the pasta, ate 23% more vegetables. Increasing vegetable intake is important for everyone.
  • Choosing both healthy salads and healthy main dishes is the key to fitness, no matter when you eat the salad. Lean meats and a healthy salad are far superior to a bit of iceberg lettuce smothered in sweet dressing and a hot dog, no matter when you eat the salad.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

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