Are You Sabotaging Your Salad?

Stop Sabotaging Your Salad

You are looking at the menu, and it occurs to you a salad is a good option. You promised yourself you would start eating healthy and isn’t a salad the best choice?

The answer is MAYBE. The salad could be a healthy option, or perhaps you are sabotaging your salad with toppings that are calorie bombs.

Last week I met a friend for lunch. As she looked at the menu, she mentioned she was glad we chose this particular restaurant because she was craving a healthy salad. Imagine my surprise when the”healthy salad” she ordered contained; crispy chicken, crumbled bacon, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, taco chips and honey mustard dressing.

She enjoyed a 3-ounce piece of cornbread with honey as an appetizer and then consumed half the salad. A conservative guess would put her calorie intake for lunch at 1000 plus.

My friend is a smart woman, and my conclusion was that like most Americans she wasn’t aware of the hidden calories in some salad toppings and how you are sabotaging your salad.

Unfortunately, many restaurant menus contain salads with over 1000 calories and upwards of 60 grams of fat! Applebee’s Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad sounds like a healthy option but at 1,290 calories, 81 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 64 g sugar and 56 g protein it’s more than 1/2 of the daily caloric intake for many people.

Watch out for these 7 salad toppings. They can turn a healthy choice into a calorie-laden meal!

  1. Crispy, Breaded, Sautéed, Grilled

To quote my friend the robot, Danger Will Robinson!! If you see crispy, breaded, sauteed or grilled in the description, ask questions. How exactly is that prepared? Can the kitchen modify the preparation to make it a more healthy choice, i.e. less oil or no butter? Meat adds protein to our diets but if it’s not prepared in a healthy way better to skip it or look for an alternative.

  1. Crispy Toppings

“Crispy” generally means fried. Chinese Noodles, Tortillas, Chips, Taco Shells add lots of calories and little nutrition.

  1. Cheese

1 ounce of cheddar cheeseJust like meat, a little is OK, but most people don’t realize what an ounce of shredded cheese looks like. An ounce is about two tablespoons about the equivalent of a shot glass.




  1. Bacon

Hopefully, this goes without saying. If you think Turkey Bacon is a healthy alternative think again.

  1. Dressing

Ranch, one of the most popular dressings,  averages a whopping 140 calories and 16 grams of fat in 1 ounce which is only two tablespoons!! That’s a lot of calories in just the dressing.

Most portion control packets found in restaurants are 1.5 ounces. There is a helpful tip in the video to get all the flavor of dressing without the extra calories from this salad topping.

What about the last two topping sabotaging your salad? Take a guess and then check out the video.

Now that you know what to stay away from here are some healthy salad choices.

IF this was helpful, feel free to share!

cj "cathy jo" johnson





CJ Johnson’s Fitness Transformation Blog
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