Choosing a Healthy Salad Dressing



 
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Summer is inarguably salad season, and wherever there’s salad, there’s usually salad dressing. However, not all dressings are good for you, and many have a habit of upping the caloric content of your salad—but no need to fear! We’ve got tips on choosing a good dressing that will add flavour to your salad the healthy way!

Opt for an oil and vinegar-base
Creamy dressings contain much more fat than oil and vinegar-base vinaigrettes, since the former are usually made with cream, buttermilk powder and eggs. For example, Ranch and Caesar dressings contain 7 to 10g of fat and approximately 72 calories per soup spoonful, whereas an Italian dressing contains only 5g of fat and 55 calories.
Pay attention to oil content
Most dressings are made with hydrogenated oil or with soybean oil (which is a polyunsaturated fat), neither of which are healthy choices. Opt for monounsaturated oils that are beneficial towards heart health, such as canola and olive oils.
Try spray-on dressings
Spraying on dressing rather than pouring it on is a great way to lower the amount you use: when using a regular bottle of dressing, people have the tendency to pour on two spoonfuls, which largely surpasses the 15 calories that come from using a spray-on bottle. Depending on the flavour, 10 sprays (about 15 calories in total) is all that’s needed to season a serving of salad.

Pay attention to additives and artificial ingredients
When reading the ingredients list, look for the shortest list possible and ingredients similar to the ones you use at home. It’s normally in non-brand name or organic dressings that you’ll find less additives and more natural ingredients. Otherwise, preservatives and acids (citric, phosphoric, etc.) will likely also be in the product.

Make your own version
The best way to ensure a dressing is healthy is to make it yourself. You can therefore control the ingredients and the amount of oil the dressing contains. Store-bought dressings are normally three parts oil and one part vinegar, but you can make the two parts even (or even cheat by adding some water) to lower the fat content. Try using Dijon mustard, different types of vinegar, and fresh herbs to make various kinds of low-fat dressings.
Type of dressing
Calories
Fat
Carbohydrates
Caesar
71
7.5g
0.5g
Ranch
70
7.5g
1g
Italian
55
5g
1.5g
Oil and vinegar-based (store-bought)
51
5.2g
1g
Homemade oil and vinegar-based (half-half)
30
3g
1g
*Numbers are based on a tablespoon-sized serving.

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Category: health

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