Mistakes That Are Making Your Salads Unhealthy

Nothing is more diet-friendly than a salad, right? While a large bowl of greens adds plenty of nutrients to your meal, it's easier than you think to make that meal a calorie bomb. Watch out for these common salad mistakes.

Salad dressings are one of the main culprits when it comes to making your salads unhealthy. According to Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD (via Eat This, Not That!), "Ranch, blue cheese, and other creamy dressings are usually high in calories and fat that can quickly turn your good intentions of a salad into a mega-dent in your diet."

There's nothing wrong with adding some flavor to your salad, but try to avoid creamy dressings. Stick to vinaigrettes for a strong punch of flavor without as many added calories. You can also make your own balsamic vinaigrette at home by combining balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and olive oil (via Healthline). Not only is this homemade salad dressing healthier, but it also ensures you aren't consuming additives or preservatives you might find in a store-bought bottle.

Many toppings and add-ins can make your salads unhealthy as well

Having a variety of ingredients is the key to a delicious salad. However, you need to be careful which toppings you're adding to the bowl. Croutons are a popular way to add crunch to your salad, but ½ cup of croutons contains about 100 calories (via Verywell Fit).

Opt for nuts or seeds instead. These will add crunch, as well as fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. But avoid roasted nuts or seeds, which typically get their extra flavor from unhealthy oils (via Self). Choose raw, unsalted versions for the most health benefits. You can also roast your own in the oven for a little more crunch.

Other toppings to avoid on your salad include bacon bits, fried noodles or tortilla strips, and large portions of cheese. These all add lots of calories and fat while providing little nutritional value. In addition to nuts and seeds, you can add roasted vegetables and legumes to your salad for added texture and flavor. Fruits like strawberries and grapes can also add brightness if you like your salads on the sweeter side.