The One Thing You Must Know Before Ordering a McDonald's Salad

Hint: It's got nothing to do with the lettuce.

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Ah, Bacon Ranch Salad with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, how we love thee. Or how about a Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad? A side salad to round out our meal? Sometimes, you just gotta get your greens at the Golden Arches. And while you may already know they can be calorie bombs, here's one thing you may not have considered: How much salt is lurking in your bowl.

In a Reader's Digest article, writer Jennifer McCaffery took a thorough look at salads at the fast food giant. "McDonald's salads high in sodium. Why? The chicken is highly seasoned. On top of of that, several salads also include bacon and come with lots of cheese. Dressings can also contain a lot of sodium," McCaffery wrote. "All of that together adds up from a calorie perspective but also from a salt perspective," Christy Brissette, RDN, founder and president of 80Twenty Nutrition explained in the piece. "The Bacon Ranch Salad with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, for example, contains 1,120 milligrams of sodium—nearly half the daily recommended amount."

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In addition to giving you belly bloat (salt consumption makes your body retain water), consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of strokes and heart disease.

Fixing for a salad? Make one at home where you can control how much salt you add — here are our favorite fresh and easy harvest salad recipes.

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