Unhealthy Salad Toppings to Watch Out For Slideshow

Forbidden Sweets

What if I told you restaurants pour candy on your entrée salads, which knock them into caloric purgatory? I'm not kidding: loading them with dried fruit, candied walnuts, and other sugar bombs is one step short of dumping M&M's on your salad.

The Blue Cheese Blues

And cheese. Restaurants love cheese, and some salads pack enough to fill a large pizza. I’m not talking a sprinkle of Parmesan here. No, these salads come loaded with blue cheese boulders or mozzarella piles. Never mind that cheese is a major food intolerance that can give you bloating, gas, and other post-meal misery. Cheese also seriously spikes your salad’s caloric count.

Drowning in Dressings

Dressing, however, might prove the biggest restaurant-salad violator. Despite how innocuous many of them sound (raspberry vinaigrette, for instance, or zesty lemon pepper), most salad dressings come loaded with fat and sugar. Drowning even a healthy salad with sugary, creamy dressing is akin to breading and deep-frying broccoli: you kill most of its nutritional value.

Kick the Crunch

"Crunchy" is another red flag with restaurant salads. Fried wontons, tortilla strips, and croutons add crunch appeal with major calories and zero nutrients. That taco salad you see on the menu at Mexican restaurants is like eating a bunch of greens on a deep-fried pastry shell.

Good Ingredients to Start With

Romaine or spinach leaves don't have many calories. Tomato, cucumber, onions, and green veggies like broccoli are also low-calorie, nutrient-rich contenders.