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4 Salad Toppings You Should Avoid

By Donna Stark

As a general rule, you really can't go wrong eating a salad. Salads, when made correctly, are low in calories, high in flavor, and full of vitamins and nutrients. But what does "made correctly" even mean? Well, if you don't choose the right ingredients from the very beginning when making your salad, you could end up turning a healthy meal into a very unhealthy one faster than you realize. Here are just a few of the most common mistakes people make when topping their greens.

Piling on the Cheese

Did you know that if you add a lot of cheese on top of your salad, it could potentially cause your meal to have more calories than a greasy burger? If you must include cheese, do so lightly! And be sure to choose a variety that is lower in calories than others.

Sprinkling on Some Bacon

It may taste good, but like cheese, bacon is another topping that you will want to add in moderation. Bacon is loaded with both sodium and fat, but what's worse is that it isn't only your waistline paying the price when you eat it, your heart pays a price too. Try to stick to only a teaspoonful of crumbled bacon when topping your salad.

Tossing the Croutons

If empty calories, increased sodium, and extra carbohydrates are what you seek, look no further than those crispy croutons calling your name. Croutons are small pieces of bread that have either been fried or toasted. They are a great way to add texture and additional flavor to your salads, but they aren't the healthiest. Instead, try satisfying your cravings with healthier items, such as nuts or seeds.  

Coating Your Greens With Creamy Dressings

While dressings like blue cheese, Caesar, Thousand Island, and ranch can turn your salad from boring to amazing, they aren't the best choices to make when it comes time to coat your greens. Some salad dressings are notoriously high in calories and sugar, so make sure you are staying away from them. In addition to keeping your distance from certain dressings, keep an eye on how much you use with the other ones. Many people make the mistake of adding double or triple the serving size to their salads. It's almost always better to choose a light vinaigrette or some oil and lemon instead.

Keeping Your Salad Healthy

Go ahead and stick with your choice of salad, but make sure you aren't adding too many of the "wrong" ingredients if you wish to keep it as healthy as you can! Whether you are ordering off a menu, standing at the side of a salad bar, or creating one at home, the suggestions above are sure to keep you on the right track!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Smyrna, Ga.

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