5 Popular Ingredients That Make Any Salad Unhealthy

Kelsey Clark

Nothing is worse than ordering the salad in an effort to be healthy, only to find that you've consumed just as many calories as a cheeseburger and fries. To avoid this unintentional splurging, Prevention recommends cutting the following five unhealthy ingredients from your salad order. 

Balsamic vinegar: While authentic balsamic vinegar from Italy isn't bad for you, the inexpensive commercial alternatives are. Made with white wine vinegar, caramel coloring, sugar, and thickeners like cornstarch and gum, this dressing ruins an otherwise healthy salad. 

Fat-free dressings: As Prevention explains, "fat-free anything is usually code for 'higher sugar.'" And as we all know, good fats are better than artificial sugars any day. Dress your salad with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar instead.

Dried fruit: As with juicing, drying out fruits strips them of their beneficial nutrients, like water and fiber, leaving you with "concentrated sugar bombs," as Prevention puts it. Always ask for no dried cranberries in your salad.

Glazed anything: Prevention poses a valid question: "You wouldn't consider a glazed doughnut healthy, so how does dunking salmon or chicken into syrupy glaze land it in the 'diet' category?" Opt for grilled chicken or salmon instead of the glazed variety.

Candied walnuts: Covering otherwise healthy nuts with syrupy sugar lands them in the dessert category. Try chickpeas or sunflower seeds for that added crunch instead.

Are you guilty of any of these salad faux pas? Share your experience below.

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