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Build a Healthier Salad

In late Spring, I find a crisp salad to be the perfect lunch. When it comes to watching your waistline, all salads are not created equal. Here are a few guidelines to help navigate the salad bar and keep your salad healthy and not a vehicle for unknown calories.

  • Do make your own salad whenever possible.
    Don't think that the pre-made salads are always going to be healthy.
  • Do get the darker leafy greens, like spinach, romaine, or arugula.
    Don't fill your bowl with iceberg lettuce — it offers little to nothing nutritionally.
  • Do load up on fresh veggies.
    Don't load up on roasted veggies — salad bar roasted veggies are often coated with butter and oil.

I've got more tips for building a healthier salad, so


  • Do get a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing on the side.
    Don't drench your salad in a creamy dressing — even lowfat creamy dressings are loaded with sodium.
  • Do toss a handful raw nuts on top of your greens.
    Don't throw a salad on top of your salad — tuna, egg, and chicken salads are loaded with mayonnaise.
  • Do add a protein like ahi tuna, hard boiled eggs, or baked chicken breast.
    Don't add bacon bits rationalizing they're providing protein.


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