Common salad ingredients that you should avoid as much as possible

Common salad ingredients that you should avoid as much as possible
Common salad ingredients that you should avoid as much as possible

Last update: 04 July, 2018


Salads are usually healthy and easy to throw together, perfect after a long day at work. They are a staple in a healthy diet. To make sure that your salad is actually healthy and not just easy, you should avoid these common salad ingredients.

Salads that seem healthy could still include ingredients that sneakily add fat and unnecessary calories to your diet. If you want to lose weight, you should avoid these common salad ingredients.

When you are making a salad, you usually start with lettuce and other basic ingredients, such as, tomato or cucumber. Then you may add some complementary flavors such as, nuts, dried fruits or pickles. Then, to create a more complete dish, you could add some chicken strips, cheese or sauce.

With all these ingredients, the light salad that you try to make can become a caloric bomb. It may have been healthier to make a hearty sandwich or even a pizza!

To help you avoid making the same mistake, here are some of the salad ingredients to avoid.


salad ingredients

Bread is an increasingly common salad ingredient. You should avoid putting bread in your salad for these reasons:

  • As salad ingredients, croutons are very popular. Croutons are small, fried bread squares — they are filled with calories, soaked in oil and only provide a small quantity of carbohydrates.
  • Sometimes, bread is put into salads without being fried. This will make the bread soft, soak up all the salad dressing and make the rest of the salad dry.

If you want to eat bread with your meal (which you can certainly do on occasion), it is better to eat a slice, on the side of a hearty dish such as, grilled breast or baked fish.

Sauces as salad ingredients

pasta salad

Although salad dressings are delicious, they are an ingredient that is likely to tip a salad from healthy to unhealthy. These salad dressings are usually high in fat and pre-made, so it is hard to know what is actually in them.

We recommend that you avoid pre-packaged salad dressings, mayonnaise and other dressings offered by supermarkets. The healthiest thing to do is to dress your salad in one of these 3 ways:

  • A healthy seasoning: put a pinch of salt, a drizzle of olive oil and a little vinegar over the salad ingredients. Simple and delicious!
  • Diet-friendly dressing: squeeze half a lemon on the salad and mix. It will give your salad a healthy and low calorie touch of flavor.
  • Balsamic vinegar: a spoonful of balsamic vinegar will give your salad a creamy texture that is similar to salad dressing. Vinegar is the healthier version than a store-bought dressing.

Fried chicken

fried chicken

Fried chicken is another salad ingredient that you should avoid. Fried foods are high in calories and carbs and do not add many essential nutrients. It used to be that this was rarely used in salads, but it has become a popular addition in recent years.

Ceasar salad commonly includes this ingredient, and restaurants often include meatballs or other forms of bread-coated meat in their salad and pasta. We know fried or breaded meat is delicious! But breading or frying meat adds carbohydrates and fats, which probably is not what you want from a salad.

While fried foods are generally unhealthy, grilled chicken is a great addition to a salad, as it is packed with protein


pasta salad

A little bit of pasta goes a long way, but try to avoid putting it in your salads. Pasta is high in carbohydrates and calories, and it is more tempting to put sauces or dressing on your salad once pasta is an ingredient.

If you want to make pasta salad, we recommend that you dress it in one of the 3 ways listed above. Another wise choice is to cook a small portion of pasta salad and complement the dish with lettuce, tomatoes or cucumbers. That way, you will enjoy a healthier and more balanced meal. This way, you can have those carbs you crave, while getting the benefits of a conventional salad.


salad ingredients to avoid

Since some cheeses are 4 times higher in calories than others, make sure you know how to differentiate between low- and high-calorie cheeses. We recommend putting low-fat, light or ricotta cheese on your salads. Finding the low-calorie cheese that you love is a great way to indulge a little, while sticking to your diet goals.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.