What’s the first the first word that comes to mind when you think of the word “salad?” Most of you are going to think of the word “healthy.”  For some reason, salad is the go-to meal for people who want to lose weight. Guess what, you can eat other healthy foods and still lose weight. Try controlling your portion sizes and paying attention to the ingredients in your food. Don’t get it twisted, I love a good, hearty salad. My favorite place to go to buy a salad when I’m out and about in the community is Nalley’s. However, I know what to put on my salad to keep it healthy. I’m not judging you, but some of your salads are so loaded that I think you would be better off eating a burger and fries. Let’s discuss 5 ingredients that can potentially ruin an otherwise healthy salad. Let’s do this!

Creamy salad dressings- Who doesn’t love a great Caesar salad? This used to be my go-to salad! A typical Caesar salad can cost you about 470 calories easy and that’s without the chicken. That oh so delicious dressing can cost you roughly 78 calories per tablespoon. I know most of you use more than a tablespoon of dressing, who are you kidding? Now add those tasty, crunchy croutons and that cheese and you’ve upped your sodium game and sprinkled on a little extra fat. For those of you who are trying to be mindful of what you eat, this may not be the healthiest option for you. Opt for a garden salad made with spinach, spring mix, and a ton of vegetables. Choose an Italian dressing or use a little olive oil to top off that delicious salad. Those creamy dressings are not your friend’s baby! When I have a taste for a Caesar salad, I order a small one and I use a little bit of Italian dressing.

Fat-free salad dressings- When you see the label “fat-free” are you immediately sold without considering what the rest of the ingredients are? Carefully pay attention to the label and compare it to regular salad dressing labels. Don’t be surprised if you see an increased amount of sugar. Have you ever heard the saying “nothing is free?” The industry will use those labels to attract consumers who ultimately think that they are making a healthy choice. Guess what, you’re not if you are really trying to tweak your diet. Please read the labels and do a little research. Make your own dressing. At least you will know what’s in it.

Croutons- I looooooove a good, crunchy crouton! I’m not going to lie, I occasionally still use them. I considered them to be a treat on a cheat meal, not a healthy ingredient for a salad. If you are a person who is trying to lose weight, avoid the croutons. If you need a crunch, add some extra cucumbers! You will get used to this idea after a while.

Lunchmeat- Many think that the lunchmeat is the end all be all of eating healthy. Guess what? It’s loaded with sodium, corn syrup, and preservatives. What else is in it that will keep you coming back? If you are a carnivore, make your own meat, chop it up for the week, and use about 3-4 ounces of it in your salad. Hopefully, you don’t have any corn syrup and preservatives in your kitchen cabinets.

Bacon-bits– Hello preservatives, saturated fat, and sodium! This is just what I need to ruin my salad. I don’t even have a replacement for your precious bacon bits. Add more veggies! If you need something that tastes good, add fresh apples.

This post reflects what works for me. As a reminder, I was once 230 pounds. Making these small changes was challenging and sometimes emotional. I still struggle today! I once said in my earlier years, that I would like to be buried with packages of bacon. Hell, I remember eating a pack of bacon in one day. I’m happy to still be alive today and I no longer consume bacon. The above suggestions are only for those of you who would like to tweak your diet. The feature photo is the salad that my mom makes for me during the holidays. This keeps me from overeating and from eating things that I should not be eating. Have you tweaked your diet lately? If so, what changes have you made?

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  1. Great tips for eating a salad! Many people drown the salad with lots of dressing. I think if u use very little dressing you get to taste all the vegetables in the salad. Its really the veggies that make the salad taste good and the presentation with colors that makes a good salad. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Wow!! This was extremely helpful for me. This will help me to monitor my diet even if I’m not dieting. Thank you for the tip.

  3. Some great tips here. I totally agree “less is more” when it comes to dressing. And for that little crunch, I often add a few roasted seeds or nuts to my salads.

  4. This was so on time!!! Thanks for the tips!! I’m still working on tweaking some things in my diet but these suggestions were so on point! Sometimes I put my salad dressing off to the side for dipping so that I won’t drown my salad. But now I’ll start watching out for these other salad destroyers and gear more towards healthier dressing options! Thanks Moe!! 😄

  5. Great tips! I rarely eat my salad with a dressing and when I do, I make it myself but croutons, I am still struggling lol.

  6. Great article! I find it funny those who pour on gallons of ranch dressing and call their salad ‘healthy’. BacOs Brand bacon bits are a great alternative, as they are meat free and low in fat and calories yet have that yummy bacon flavor!

  7. This post made me drool haha, all I want now is a salad. what about pasta salads? do you think they are healthy? I usually prepare my own dressing, and croutons… I don’t always use them but I agree they are delicious

    1. Personally, I eat pasta every now and then . I just don’t over indulge. I would say to stay within serving sizes on that! Thank you for reading it! It’s great that you make your own dressing!

  8. It seems I have been ruining salads all my life .lol. I try to stay away for all the add-ins though and use mostly raw ingredients. Some salad dressings are quite fattening

  9. Great title! That’s what drew me to read this post 🙂
    Very informative. So many times, I assume “oh, I’m having a salad and making a good choice!” But I’m guilty of a few of those offesnses! I’m going to make a more conscious effort to skip on the creamy dressings and croutons (even though I looove them! Hah)

  10. I love this post. The title alone got my attention. I do not like lunch meat. Prior to researching, I used to think it was healthy as well until I noticed how much sodium it has in it; which was a no-no for my husband due to health reasons. As for bacon bits, we do not even bother. Sometimes we do tend to destroy our salads without paying attention. Great post and tips.

  11. I have to admit, that Zi think Zi am eating healthy when having a salad but what you say makes sense. Not all salads are good for us. I will watch out for the no nos in the future.

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