By now, most of us know to stay away from creamy salad dressings, but some less obvious salad sabateurs might surprise you.
Avoid adding these five foods to your salad:
1. Croutons. They may be small, but they're typically filled with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. The majority of croutons found in restaurants are also made of refined grains, which means all of the vitamins and protein have been stripped from them. Adding croutons also means adding calories, so opt for a slice of whole wheat bread or a whole wheat roll instead.
2. Sun-dried tomatoes. What you’re really adding to your salad is a ton of sodium. A half-cup can set you back almost 500 milligrams of sodium. Opt for fresh tomatoes instead.
3. Candied nuts. They’re often scattered on top of a salad with beets or blue cheese. And they taste so good — because they're drenched in simple sugars! Candied nuts are also filled with fat, sodium, artificial colors, and flavors. So stick to unsalted, plain nuts like walnuts or almonds that contain healthy fats and will keep you full longer.
4. Tortilla strips or wonton noodles. Sure, they add great crunch to your salad, but they also add extra calories, sodium, and trans fats (they're often fried in oil). Instead, go for peppers or carrots for a tasty crunch without all those calories and fat.