The 25 Best and Worst Salad Toppings

Don't sabotage your salad with these unhealthy toppings.
David Zinczenko

“I have been trying so hard to eat healthy,” my friend Daisy told me as she dug into her salad. “I feel like this time, I’ve really got it down: salads for lunch and dinner and I’ll be totally beach-ready by summer!”

I looked at her plate. A pile of tortilla chips sat limply in a dollop of ranch dressing that coated a piece of fried chicken. There was certainly something that resembled food in front of her, but calling it a salad seemed like a stretch.

“Have you ever thought that maybe salads aren’t always your best bet when it comes to weight loss?” I asked.

“You’re kidding, right?” she replied. “I mean, it’s a bowl of lettuce!”

“Well, sure, if you ignore the fried chicken, the tortilla chips, the dressing, the cheese, and the bacon, there’s probably some lettuce under there,” I said. “Unfortunately, the 1,500 calories worth of fat and carbs on top more or less negates any good those lettuce leaves would do for your body. How about instead of eating these salads every day, try making your own with ingredients that taste great and will keep your diet on track?” 

After letting her know about the 40 Hacks to Slim Down Every Meal, I gave her some insight on how to build a better salad. All it took was a brief study of the 25 Best and Worst Salad Toppings and the next time I saw her, she was happily enjoying a salad again — this time without a tortilla chip in sight!