Salads are the way to go if you’re looking to lose weight and/or eat healthier on a budget. You can put pretty much anything you want on your salads, but you’ll want to choose your ingredients wisely if your goal is weight loss. Here are 6 ingredients you’ll want to steer clear of, and some suggestions for replacing them with healthier, frugal options:

  1. Mayo-Based Dressings:


    You probably know this, but you’re ruining the health factor of your salad if you top it with a ton of ranch, blue cheese or caesar dressing. Instead, try lighter vinaigrettes, just olive oil and balsamic vinegar or be frugal and make your own.

  2. Cheese:


    A little bit of low fat cheese, like feta or mozzarella isn’t too bad for you, but topping your salad with highly processed or ultra-creamy cheese will cause the calorie count to skyrocket.

  3. Glazed and Sugared Nuts:

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    Plain nuts are great in salads and give you a great protein boost. However, if you’re choosing nuts that are glazed in sugar, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Just stick to dry-roasted or raw nuts.

  4. Croutons:


    These add a great crunch to your salad, but unfortunately also add fat and refined carbs. Instead, if you need the crunch factor, make your own croutons out of slightly-stale whole wheat bread.

  5. Dried Fruit:


    It may seem healthy to throw some dried fruit on a salad, but that dried fruit has tons of sugar. You can create a healthier (and probably cheaper) salad by using fresh, seasonal fruits like strawberries, blueberries or apple slices.

  6. Deli Meats:


    Instead of topping salads with high sodium deli meats like ham or salami, use leftover chicken, beans or lentils to get protein in your salad.