This is a very simple post but I think it’s worth writing. What’s the verdict on salad toppings, such as dressing, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, etc? Thumbs up, or down?

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Salad is good. An easy way to get vegetables. Sometimes, though, the same old lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrot–and anything else you put in your salad–gets a little too boring. That’s why having a list of salads that you enjoy is a great idea to stir things up.

Check out this recipe I posted before: spinach arugula salad

But what if you don’t have arugula, spinach, or Cole slaw mix?

Topping your salad with extras can give you zest you’re looking for.

The good:

  • Some fat is necessary to absorb fat-soluble vitamins in your vegetables. So some salad dressing, cheese, or nut is actually recommended.
  • They add bulk and protein to your salad. That’s great if your salad is THE meal.
  • Fruits add fiber to your salad.

The bad:

  • Too many calories or fat, especially if this salad is a SIDE.
  • Risk of overeating, since psychologically, “salad”=”healthy”.

Some salads, especially from restaurants, can have up to 1,000 calories!

There’s no right or wrong way. You just need to be in the know and make your own decision. It depends on your needs and how the rest of your meal looks like. That’s why it’s always important to look at the labels.

Spinach Salad Kit from Grocery store

Each container contains 3 servings. That's 160 X 3 calories, 480, if you eat the whole box. What that means to each individual is different. Decide what's appropriate for you.

My tips for toppings:

  • Choose low fat cheese
  • Raw, dry nuts (not salted)
  • Olive oil-based salad dressing
  • In moderation, watch the portions, and not every day



  1. Simply Life

    Oooh one of my favorite meals is a big salad with tons of fresh veggies!

  2. Nicole, RD

    Great points! In the class I taught this morning for the culinary students one girl actually asked why salads from restaurants are many times more unhealthy calorically-speaking than an entree.

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