Trying to understand salad

I've been reading up about salad because I have it on my lunch time sandwich, but not apparently enough to qualify for 1 of my 5 a day. The only advice I can find is for a salad bowl with three sticks of celery, a 5cm piece of cucumber, one medium tomato or seven cherry tomatoes count as one portion. I can put some of that in my s/w and eat the rest but it seems a bit mean really. What about radish and lettuce and other things? Dos anyone have any more intelligence on this subject?

Last edited by

Featured Content

Follow the community

Discuss all aspects of nutrition, from specific foods to recipes and more. Keep motivated to develop healthier eating habits.

Get Started

Featured by HealthUnlocked

53 Replies

  • Black olives, avacado pieces , grilled chicken pieces,walnuts or almonds.

  • Mmmm avocado pieces sounds interesting, might do as an alternative to celery. bit stringy sometimes and i can spend the afternoon picking it out of my teeth.

  • Hi Greyone,

    You're right. Lettuce is also counted, but with very low carbs (5/serving). With cherry tomatoes, they are 1 carb/tomato, so if you eat 10 cherry tomatoes, you have just had 10 total carbs. A raddish has 5 carbs. If you have craisins, they have 33 carbs on their own. I hope this helps.:-)

  • Mmm, I am hoping to make better use of the salad on my lunch time sandwich so i could make it count with a salad bowl instead of ditching the salad all together and just stick with my banana or apple.

  • Sounds good!

  • Tell me something if you can please. I've just been making up a salad bowl for my unch. I'm sure i read somewhere that a salad bowl should be at least 80 g. But with my celery, 5 cm cucumber and a medium tomato and a few lettuce leaves cam to 300g !!!

  • are you diabetic ? 300g of what ? carbs ?

  • If it's carbs., the total should be less than 300. Please re-add the carbs. and let me know what it comes to, Greyone.

  • Both. It contained cucumber ( about 5cm), 1 large stick of celery (not one of those silly little sticks). 1 medium tomato and 3 small(ish) lettuce leaves. All together weighed 300g.

    P.S don't know anything about this carb business yet.

  • I will be happy to help you with the carb counting. I will send you a message later today when I get back from work today.

  • For this occasion thank you.

  • Okay. Please wait for me to get the message done. Will let you know when I have sent it.😀

  • I have sent you the message now. Please check your PMs and reply so I know you got it.

  • Except for a few stringy bits with my celery, I now enjoy my salad bowl and eating more salad now that I finally understand how it adds up so my bowl with plenty of celery, tomato and cucumber can count as 3.

  • That's right! Great job, Greyone!😀

  • I often have a salad for lunch, but a big bowl of it and no sandwich :)

    A typical one might have red onions, red cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, broccoli, shredded carrot, spinnach, rice and kidney beans.

    Then I add sunflower seeds and balsamic vinegar and black pepper as a dressing,

    The whole lot fits in a 1.4 l container.

    Most vegetables (apart from the starchy ones like potatoes) are very low ln calories and high in nutrients so you can eat a lot of them to feel full without overdoing the calories.

  • Well that is one problem of mine , feeling full without overdoing the calories. So may try and work in the celery and avocado.

  • It's worth experimenting to find the veges you like, I don't like lettuce very much for example, but I find red peppers amazing.

    Avocado is healthy but relatively high in fat (and therefore calories) so best to have in smaller amounts.

    Also the dressing and other seasonings can make a huge difference to the taste but watch out for dressings high in fat, which is why I go for the vinegar.

  • Thanks for that. I think i'll start with the regulation cucumber, celery and tomato .

  • Avacado- is GOOD fat and no problem - have many nutrients.

  • I did say avocado was healthy :)

    But it does have a high fat content nonetheless, and fats have a high calorie density, so don't have too much of it

  • One whole avacado for a bowl of salad is NOT too much. With so many other low calorie veggies -- most people need - 300 to 400 calories for lunch. If there is no meat - calories will be low any way --

    Forgot to mention - can add some cheese cubes too.

  • Ok thanks for clearing that up. I wont scrub avocados <smiley face>.

  • I would have your salad as a separate item. Basically anything can go into a salad, raw or cooked. Its just food eaten cold.

    Personally I can't eat salad without dressing. Oil vinegar and salt and pepper.

    Make your sandwich and have the salad on the side. Loads of green leaves and nay veg you fancy throwing in. Carrot sticks, beetroot, apple, cucumber, radishes, cauliflower ( I like mine cooked), Use red cabbage instead of the green leaves and balsamic vinegar. Any cooked veg combined with raw fruit like tomatoes a d peppers.

    You can never balance enough salad on a sandwich.


  • Indeed 80g is a lot to get on one sandwich. is there a regulation size for cellary and carrot sticks do you know ? I believe for cucumber i need at least 5 cm.

  • I usually have Romainian lettuce (Prince of the lettuce world) 4 cherry tomatoes, some cucumber, celery, two boiled eggs, some cheese..lemon and oregano dressing. If I don't have eggs I will have ham or chicken.

  • Meant to say that I won't go near bread of any kind to many carbs and sugar

  • Counting carbs will help with weight loss and blood sugar control.

  • Exactly

  • How many carbs are you allowed for meals?

  • I cannot understand why on the first page of Heart Matters that they are advocating what they call a healthy pie? No pie is healthy for us. It is the same with a lot of their foods that they are advocating people to eat. The NHS needs to change. They have changed a little regarding carbs but still have a long way to go. They are still telling people to go for diet foods which has so much sugar in. It is the same on some Diabetic pages, telling that people with diabetes can eat anything in small portions (No) they cannot it raises their Blood Glucose Levels. They are telling them to eat the very thing that raises their levels. It is ridiculous. NHS is still telling people to eat low-fat spread instead of real butter. Natural fats are good for us,the low-fat junk is not. I had been eating low-fat food for years, and bread potatoes rice etc. I thought that I was eating really healthy, then get told I am now pre-diabetic. I changed my diet to eating under 20 carbs a day and full-fat butter cheese and cream etc..Fresh meat plenty of veg grown above ground only and my sugars have returned to normal. NHS now advocate small portion of carbs,and still champion the eat well plate. They really need to change it is out dated.

  • Whose interests are being served by the NHS Eatwell Guide? The general public or the food industry? When you see who is behind the Eatwell Guide then you may draw your own conclusion.

  • derry,

    I will send a quick note to you in a few minutes and we can talk about this. It's okay.

  • derry,

    Please check your private messages. I sent the note right now.

  • I usually eat around 20 carbs or under a day for me that is good..Some others can go higher 50 carbs

  • I have 40-50 carbs for lunch usually. 75-80 for dinner.

  • Yes you have more of a free range because you take insulin. Great though

  • Thank you, derry. What do you do for exercise?

  • I have no idea. I just make salad which the ingredients I fancy. I eat so many vegetables and fruit that I never bother working out how many of the 5 a day I am eating

  • Mmmm thx.i think i'm heading in that direction. But it was very pleasant for lunch any way. I'll jut have to see if it satisfies me.

  • Berries in salad enhances the taste and has super powers for our bodies. Every non starchy vegetable has redeeming qualities, and is useful to our body. For dressing, I use avacado oil, or a good quality olive oil with lemon and spices in it. Tastes way better than all that processed stuff! Throwe in a few garbanzo beans as well...

  • I normally save my normal veg for dinner. But putting berries in salad sounds a really interesting thing to do. Picking a dressing though is when i'm at the advanced stage i think. But thanks so much.

  • Greyone - with regards to the 5 a day advice: one portion is equivalent to 80g in weight of any fresh or frozen vegetable and fruits (salad is included, white potatoes are not) or 30g of dried fruit. You should try to get a wide variety of colours and types of fruit and veg to ensure a good variety of nutrients, and try to eat more veg than fruit. Really 5 portions is the minimum you should have, many countries advise 7 or 10 portions per day. But with a 300g salad sounds like you're not too far :)

  • MMMm .. thanks. First off the fruit and veg is no problem at all I'm trying to comprehend the salad and by salads I mean lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radish, celery. The example I found on the internet said that 80g of salad could be 3 sticks of celery, 5 cm cucumber and a tomato. So I'm assuming now that the 3 is to give variety and the quantities to make sure there is not too much of one or two of them. So I' m thinking that so long as i have at least 3 salad things or roughly equal proportions and it all weights at least 80g then I'm home and dry? Have I got that right do ya think?

  • Don't forget that calories and carbs are different when you're doing the adding, Greyone.😀

  • 80g of just a single one of your vegies would still count as 1 of your five a day - but a mixture would definitely make them more interesting to eat - so I reckon your plan is fine.

    As others have said though, the 5 a day target should be thought of as a minimum and it's good to exceed it if you can

  • That's tremendous, thanks for explaining it in a way that I can actually understand. I had a nice big bowl today with all that stuff. I'm getting to like it so I plan to incorporate it into my diet gradually for this nice weather at least. But not too often in case, I turn into a rabbit.

  • kudos to you for that salad bowl, it's great how we can start to like salads, as though our body just knows what's good for us.

    Don't worry about becoming a rabbit :)

  • with all due respect I dont really understand why you are getting so hung up on what a salad is? Am I missing something in your question?

    a salad is just a bowl of vegetables and fruit , usually but not always, raw. It may contain some protein like beans ,meat orr nuts and seeds .It is whatever you choose it to be. Where are you getting this stuff about it being 3 sticks of this and 5 cm of that? just chop up lots of different things .....

  • alchemilla12,

    If a person is trying to count their carbs and calories, then it's important for that person to figure out how much everything is. Counting carbs can help control a person's blood sugar levels and also help with weight control. Greyone is doing a great job!

  • Hello there - nickiskids12 and benwl have been very helpful with their advice and have given me better ideas in what to do. So let's all relax and chew on a carrot stick, shall we?

  • Sometimes I have a fruit egg bake. Two eggs beaten, throw in berries, Some Stevia, Cinnamon, little cream and continue to mix with a fork.Put into an ovenproof dish and bake for 20 mins or until cooked. Really nice so low in carbs

  • OK All, i've got the salad sorted. I just have a bowl of 80g cucumber, 80g of celery and 80g of tomatoes. Rather than go by size I just weight them each on my digital scales. All nice and easy so I get plenty of salad each lunch time. Thanks for all your help and ideas.

You may also like...