Its funny how people might think if they have a salad when dining out, their diet is on track. Don’t get me wrong, having a salad is usually the best choice when dining out, its the toppings that can wreak havoc on your waist line. Below I’ll list what to avoid on your salad.

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1.) dried fruit, ie craisins

Just because its a fruit doesn’t mean its a good choice. Dried fruit is very high in sugar and calories. For example, a serving of dried cranberries in a salad is normally at least 100 calories and over 24 grams of sugar. That should be the limit in a day not at one sitting.

2.) nuts, seeds

nuts and seeds are good for you but again too much is not a good thing. Also, fat intake should be monitored just like carbs and protein. Sometimes the fat they put in a salad is equal to more than your recommended daily intake. Best to scratch this from the menu or if you can manage your portions, ask for it on the side and measure a tablespoon full. And if they’re glazed, cut them out. Then you’ve got the worst mix and fat and sugar in one – not good.

3.) deep fried or breaded meats

unless the protein source is grilled, stay away. A salad could be just as bad as a hamburger if the toppings are right. Opt for grilled chicken breast, sirloin steak bites, grilled shrimp, etc. Anything breaded or fried will not help your physique.

4.) cheese

cheddar, feta, goat, blue, etc they’re all high in fat and not the best type of fat to be eating. Of course, all in moderation is fine too but this topping is one of the worst to have in your salad. Not only for the saturated fat content but again its usually over done. Expect at least 20 grams of fat and about 300 calories coming from cheese in a salad. If you want some cheese in your salad ask for it on the side and measure out a tablespoon. Then you’re at least getting a healthy measure of fat without sabotaging your nutrition plan.

5.) taco shells, crunchy noodles

It may look healthy because its dry and not coated in oil but tacos and crunchy noodles are usually made in the fryer. This is something to avoid completely, unless you plan it as part of a cheat meal, which is fine in moderation.

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6.) creamy dressings

this is the worst of the worst. You’ll usually get both high fat and sugar in those creamy dressings. Definitely want to avoid the ranch, caesar, blue cheese based (and any other cream-based) dressings. Best choice is a vinaigrette or if you have a light palette, ask for a lemon wedge or two and use that with some black pepper and hot sauce, wholla! Its pretty tasty like that too.

7.) croutons

they may sound okay since they’re usually baked but for the amount used in a salad you could be getting more than your days intake of carbohydrates! Sometimes a salad will have 70 or more grams of carbohydrates. Plus if you consider the other toppings, you could be eating worse than if you had a large burger and fries! Best bet is to avoid this one too.

If you’re looking to stick to a clean eating plan the best choice is ordering a mixed greens salad loaded with vegetables the restaurant offers (tomato, cucumbers, peppers, etc) with a grilled protein source atop, and a vinaigrette dressing on the side. Hope this helps you with your clean lifestyle!

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