Ooh Yum! The Bright Lights Salad!!

Hey guys! Here is the recipe for one of my favorite salads! It is so simple, clean, and perfect for the spring! Check it out below!

BRIGHT LIGHTS SALAD

2 C greens
2 C chopped rainbow chard 1⁄4 c pomegranate seeds
1⁄4 C chopped walnuts

Citrus Vinaigrette

1⁄2 C EVOO
1⁄4 c white wine vinegar Squeeze of citrus
1 T orange zest
Salt and pepper to taste

An antioxidant burst! The “bright lights” of the rainbow chard stalks, pomegranates, and deep green leaves are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, reducing free radical damage with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. The absorption of these nutrients is enhanced with the healthy fats from the olive oil and walnuts. The bitter greens enhance digestion, improving the gut flora.

A NOTE ON FATS

The paradigm on fat is changing. When I was getting my degree in Nutrition, it was very simple. Unsaturated fats were good, saturated fats were bad and to be avoided. All fat should be limited. Americans were thought to eat far too much fat, and in response we saw an explosion of low fat products on the market. These products were high in carbohydrate, sugars, processed ingredients, and artificial sweeteners. Our society has never recovered.

We saw a profound spike in diabetes, diabesity, fatty liver disease, and obesity rates continue to rise. Carbohydrate consumption spiked. The artificial sweeteners and processed foods contributed to what is now known to be display process in the gut microflora, predisposing people to profound metabolic disturbance.

We have not recovered. There are a few pioneers in the field, my favorite of whom is Dr. Mark Hyman. His books on food explore where we've been, why we were there, what the data actually shows, and where we should go. The popular diets of today, the Paleo diet, Whole 30, ketogenic... they are reflecting a new shift in society. Coconut oil, MCT oil, and grass fed dairy is all the rage on the Whole Foods shelves, previously shunned as being too high in saturated fats. But the majority of the American diet is still one of the highest in the world in carbohydrates, particularly sugars.

What is one to do with all of this?

Increase fat intake. We still have residual fear of fat a society, but fat is important for many of the physiologic processes of the body, including satiety and metabolism. I spend a lot of my office day talking about fat intake. It's important for my pregnant patients to get enough fat to support their bodies while growing a baby. It's even more important during breast-feeding to have adequate fat, as the breast milk itself is so high in fat content. Many of my peri and post-menopausal patients are frustrated by the change in their metabolism, and I always recommend an increase in healthy fat to stabilize blood sugar and quell cravings. Healthy fats are protective against disorders of inflammation, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's, and even depression. In fact, fats such as potent eicosapentanoic acid are now being used as adjuvant treatments for autoimmune conditions, heart disease, and depression, and docahexanoic acid is a vital supplement during pregnancy and lactation for infant brain and eye development.

It's time for us to embrace fat as a vital nutrient and consume it accordingly, emphasizing plant oils, nuts, and limited amounts of grass fed dairy and meats. Trans fats and fried foods should be completely avoided.

In my new cookbook (coming out soon), I outline a guide to healthy fats that I recommend. Be sure to check it out for more information!

Anne KennardComment