12 Salad Toppings That Are Making You Fat (Slideshow)

Avoid these fattening salad toppings

Mayo-Based Dressings

Ranch dressing, blue cheese, Caesar, and other creamy dressings are full of fat and loaded with sodium. They offer little nutritional value and pack on the calories. Try lighter vinaigrettes instead or just use a little olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette or lemon juice.

Breaded Chicken and Shrimp

It’s important to add protein to your diet, but not the fattening breaded kind. Breaded porteins pack on extra calories and sodium. Try grilled proteins instead or other protein options like tuna or egg whites.


All cheese isn’t bad, but it’s important to choose the right kind of cheese and the right portion. Feta is low in fat and calories compared to other cheeses. Part-skim mozzarella or ricotta are good options. Avoid highly processed or ultra-creamy cheeses.

Glazed and Sugared Nuts

Nuts are super healthy and pair well with a salad, unless they are glazed in sugar. The added sugar adds unnecessary calories and fat. Stick to dry-roasted or raw nuts instead. Nuts are delicious on their own, so skip the extra sugar.


Croutons add crunch and are popular in salads, but the added fat and refined carbohydrates make them an unhealthy salad option. Try eating a whole wheat bread roll with your salad instead.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit seems healthy, but they contain tons of sugar. Try adding fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries or simply keep the dried fruit to a minimum. 


Everyone seems to have an addiction to bacon these days and it is a popular salad option. It’s a classic ingredient in the traditional Cobb salad, which is on most lunch menus. Although bacon is delicious, it is high in fat content and sodium. Instead of bacon, try adding some sunflower or pumpkin seeds to get the added crunch you are looking for. 

Tortilla Strips and Chips

Common in Southwestern style salads, tortilla chips and strips are crunchy and delicious. But they are high in calories and sodium. Sometimes, salads are even served in a big tortilla bowl (definitely not worth eating). Try just keeping to the black beans and corn for a Southwestern style salad and add some seeds or nuts if you want the added crunch. 

Fried Chicken or Shrimp

Fried foods pack on the fat and calories when added to a salad, but it's important to incorporate protein into your salad. For a healthier option, try grilled meats and fish or egg whites. 

Wonton Strips

Wonton strips are a classic in Asian chopped salads, which are a staple on lunch menus. These cripsy and fried treats are tasty and crunchy, but are loaded with extra calories and fat. Try adding slivered almonds or sunflower seeds for the crunch without the fat.

Deli Meats

Some salads are topped with ham, salami, and other cured meats. These are high in sodium and not the healthiest choice. For healthyy protein, try adding grilled or poached chicken, beans, or lentils. 

Sugary Salad Dressings

Check the label on store-bought salad dressings and make sure that the sugar level isn't too high. Added sugar can pack on the pounds and calories. Try mixing together olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice instead.