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Six Toppings You Should Keep Away from Your Salad

Salads are a slim starter dish packed with all kinds of vegetables and leafy greens that provide you with all kinds of health benefits and nutrients that your body needs on a daily basis. However, as much as this dish is easy to prepare and serve, it’s also easy to overload with unhealthy toppings and defeat the point of having a dish that’s low in calories. Here are six different toppings you should keep away from your salad as much as possible:

Store-bought dressing (both creamy and fat-free)

Store-bought dressings often contain a high amount of fat and other artificial ingredients, so even if they say “fat-free” on the label, manufacturers will simply replace the fat with sugar. But there’s no need to fret – there are a lot of alternatives to store-bought dressing you can buy, or better yet, make your own simple vinaigrette dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and seasonings like freshly chopped herbs, minced garlic, and shallots.

Croutons

These fried goodies may be really delicious, but white bread croutons don’t have a lot of nutritional content to bring to the table. In fact, they are better reserved for turkey stuffing or for other types of occasions rather than incorporated into vegetable salads. If you want to have that added crunch in your salad, try adding different nuts instead since they are great sources of healthy fats and proteins.

Processed meat

If there is one thing you absolutely must avoid putting into your salad at all costs, it’s processed  or canned meat: not only is every bite loaded with too much sodium, but it also comes with unhealthy doses of additives and chemicals that are a huge health hazard in the long run.

Cheese

While cheese and dairy products are fine to add to salads in small amounts, adding multiple kinds of dairy products on top of your salad at once can overload you with more than your needed daily protein requirement.

Fried foods or garnish

Adding fried foods or garnish defeats the purpose of the salad in the first place – it adds the unnecessary fats and oils to an otherwise great dish full of nutrients that are great for your body. If you want to have the option of adding meats to your salad, be sure to choose grilled meats over fried since they have fewer calories, and never put red meat in your salad at all costs.

Refined carbohydrates    

Refined carbohydrates like white rice and pasta are definitely no-no’s since their high glycemic index means that your blood sugar levels will spike with every bite, which can be really bad if you want to achieve the opposite.