Salads can be a great way to keep healthy, but salad dressings can put your health at risk. High sugar levels, lots of fat, and harmful amounts of calories and salt are just some of the downfalls that come along with so many salad dressings that are available today.
Don’t drench a nutritious salad with an unhealthy dressing. By knowing the right things to look out for on nutrition labels, you can enjoy all the flavor of salad dressing without losing any of the benefits of the salad you’re putting it on. This article gives some pointers to help choose the healthier options, or even make your own.
What to Look Out For:
Never choose a full-fat option when it comes to picking out a salad dressing. That being said, there are still many so-called “low-fat” options that aren’t as healthy as they may sound. It is generally a good idea to look for a product with around 8 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons (a standard serving size).
This can be a little trickier than fat to deal with. Obviously, it is a good idea to look for salad dressing options with as little sugar as possible. The ideal limit would be 1 gram of sugar or less per 2 tablespoon serving. However, sometimes there is an inverse relationship between sugar and fat in certain salad dressings. For example, high-fat Kraft Buttermilk Ranch Dressing has 2 grams of sugar per serving, compared to the fat-free version, which has 11 grams. In this way, healthy-sounding dressings may not be good for you at all.
Especially if you are worried about your high blood pressure and heart disease, high levels of salt in your diet can be a big concern. Salad dressings often use salt to pack a flavorful punch, so look out for high-sodium levels. Some of the worst offenders have upwards of 230-550 mg of salt per serving, levels that can put you in a risky position.
A simple vinaigrette is an easy-to-make alternative to the unhealthy bottle that you are accustomed to. Follow these steps, and you’ll have a healthy, tasty salad dressing in minutes:
- Mince 2 tbsp shallots for a flavorful base.
- Add 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, or some other acid.
- Whisk together with ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper.
- Add 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil slowly, whisking as you pour.
This will keep in the fridge for the better part of a week; you just have to remember to stir it up before using it again.
CATEGORIES: Sugar, Recipes, Salad, Salad Dressing, Healthy Foods, Vegan, Vegetarian