Since all healthy low carb eating or weight loss diets include many cooked and raw vegetables, a good place to begin is a discussion on salads. It is no wonder to me that people who use only boring iceberg lettuce and maybe a tomato are not that crazy about salads. First of all, iceberg lettuce is almost all water, has almost no flavor. and has little nutritional value. As a matter of fact it isn't even good for rabbits. Yes, as in real rabbits, not dieters who munch 'rabbit food'.

So to begin building a really satisfying salad, use a nicely colored lettuce, such as romaine, green or red leaf lettuce, or a combination. The most interesting is what they call 'spring mix', or 'baby lettuces' which includes a variety of endive, dandelion, raddichio, spinach leaves and herbs. You may not like these until you try an organic mixture, because the taste is so much sweeter. Maybe the lack of chemicals and fertilizer accounts for the vast improvement in flavor.

You can then include such things as cucumber, tomato, shredded carrots, bell pepper, celery, orange or grapefruit wedges, and hold the onions or not. If you really want to make a meal out of your salad, you can also include sprinkled sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, cubes of toasted, garlic buttered bread, or croûtons (total 1/2 slice of bread).

Now don't top it off with lousy bottled dressing (there are exceptions) but if low carb eating, you probably don't need the delicious creamy or cheesy variety whether fat free or not. Try aged balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Using olive oil is absolutely one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Yes, it's a little high calorie, but you do need some healthy fats, and this is the healthiest. Another delicious oil and vinegar combination is oriental toasted sesame oil with sweet rice vinegar. Fabulous! You need fat to burn fat, but make it good fat.

Low carb eating does not include many starches, so whether you are accustomed to starches in the form of white rice, pasta, or potatoes, and/or bread with you meals, you will not miss them as much, since you have eaten a large salad. It also can help to eat salad with the meal, instead of before it as a separate course. Either way, if there are many interesting, flavorful ingredients, you will find that a good salad is very satisfying and you don't miss starches.

All foods except meat and fat have carbohydrates. Even vegetables; however, as vegetables are nutritious and full of fiber, they are considered 'complex' carbohydrates. With low carb eating, we do still need carbohydrates in our diet. In that you must, however, limit or reduce carbohydrates, you want them to count for something when you do eat them. 'Simple' carbohydrates are the ones that need to be curtailed, because although they include milk sugar (lactose) and fruit sugar (fructose), they also include the worst, which is refined sugar (sucrose).