Whether you're aiming for a slimmer waistline or simply a more nutritious meal, salads are a tried-and-true standby, so long as you choose your ingredients wisely.
When visiting a salad bar or a create-your-own-salad restaurant, loading your bowl with fattening add-ins or even too many healthy options can quickly turn a diet-friendly mix into a calorie bomb. "People don't realize how quickly it adds up," says Karin Hosenfeld, RD, a Dallas-based dietitian. "If you have a quarter cup each of croutons, cheese, sunflower seeds, raisins, and bacon bits, you're already up to 400 calories. Three tablespoons of ranch dressing adds another 215." To keep your weight in check, cap your calories at 500 (600 if you're less weight conscious).
Here are seven simple ways to build a healthy salad without skimping on taste.