Choose Carefully or Avoid: Toppings
Be choosy when it comes to salad toppers.
• Nuts and Seeds: Nuts offer healthy fats and some protein, but they’re high in calories, so pay close attention to how many you add. A small handful of almonds (22 to be exact) contains 169 calories and 14 walnut halves boasts 185 calories. You can be a bit more generous with the pistachios: one serving is 49 nuts, for 162 calories. For added crunch, try a sprinkle of sunflower seeds; while these also are relatively high in calories (47 per tablespoon), they contain healthy fats and are full of antioxidants too.
• Olives: Olives are a low-calorie choice at about 7 calories each. They do, however, deliver a fair amount of sodium: depending on the type of olive, 1/4 cup could deliver as much as 717 mg of sodium. Go for green—they’re the lowest in calories and have the least amount of sodium.
• Bacon bits: Two words: Skip these. Bacon bits—and similar add-ons, such as crunchy onions—look appetizing when you're standing at a salad bar, but they can be high in sodium and "empty" calories.
• Croutons: Pass on these too. A 1/2 cup may contain almost 100 calories and 247 mg of sodium. If you must have croutons, choose ones that are whole-wheat or whole-grain.
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