The Best And Worst Salad Dressings

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Don’t let the dressing sabotage an otherwise healthy salad.

True or false: Whether it’s to shed pounds or simply adopt a healthier lifestyle, you can never go wrong snacking on salads. The answer: It depends on what you put in your salads, specifically, what you slather it with. Rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, you’re generally making a smart choice by opting for a bowl of salad than a Big Mac. However, not all salads are created equal. Do you know that a bowl of greens with creamy, fatty and high-calorie dressing thrown into the mix can quickly negate the otherwise figure-friendly benefits that eating a salad offers?

Thousand Island Dressing

It’s easy to see why the Thousand Island dressings is a popular choice among salad enthusiasts; it’s versatile, easy to use and tastes great! However, don’t be deceived by its seemingly lightweight caloric and fat content; they usually pack up to 300 mg of sodium, which still makes it unhealthy.

Blue Cheese Dressing

 

Made up of mayonnaise, yoghurt, milk, sour cream, onion powder and blue cheese, this concoction is also high on the list of popular dressings. While most brands out there are laden with fats, calories and sodium, some boast lower sodium content yet are still full of calories and fats. Still a no-win situation, don’t you think?

Ranch Dressing

Not only great on salads but also as a dip for pizza, chicken wings and chips, ranch dressing is highly versatile. Some say ranch dressing is not as bad as blue cheese dressing, but that doesn’t mean it’s guiltless either. So think twice before you stock up your fridge with this item.

Mayonnaise

You’re whipping up a salad in a hurry, so you throw all the greens, nuts and fruits into a bowl and reach for a jar of mayonnaise. It doesn’t get any simpler than that, right? Bad decision. Made up of eggs, vinegar, salt and spices, a tablespoon of mayo contains approximately 90 calories, so it’s good if you use mayonnaise sparingly. However, a huge bowl of salad usually requires more, so this is definitely not your healthiest bet.

Now here are the best and most healthy salad dressings. Salad dressings don’t have to be complicated with a tonne of ingredients thrown into the mix to taste great. Sometimes, just two or three ingredients will do.  You can try several of the following for variety.

Basic Olive Oil and Lemon Salad Dressing

Nothing quite beats the tangy and zesty olive oil and lemon combo when it comes to simplicity. The best news is, it’s healthy! Olive oil, especially the extra virgin variety, is high in antioxidants. It lowers risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Lemon juice is rich in potassium, calcium, Vitamin C and pectin fibre. Combined, lemon juice and olive oil offers a tasty and healthy option to store-bought salad dressings. Fancy a simple lemon vinaigrette dressing?  Whisk together grated lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, a little salt, extra virgin olive oil and ground black pepper.  It’s super easy to make and won’t take longer than 5 minutes!

Cottage Cheese and Dill Salad Dressing

Flavourful and healthy, cottage cheese and dill salad dressing is a good alternative to ranch. Cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium and protein, while dill contains flavonoids and a significant amount of Vitamin C and trace amounts of iron, folate and manganese.  Blend the cottage cheese in a food processor to attain the desired creamy texture.  Add freshly chopped dill, and salt and pepper to taste.

Yoghurt and Mustard Salad Dressing

Why not ditch the mayonnaise and use yoghurt for your salad dressing?  Just mix plain yoghurt with Dijon mustard and cilantro or chives and pour it into your salad. Yoghurt contains calcium, Vitamins B-2 and B-12, potassium, magnesium and gut-friendly bacteria called probiotics.

Avocado Salad Dressing

Avocados contain fat, but it’s the good, heart and skin-friendly type, called polyunsaturated fat. When mixed with lemon juice, crushed garlic and a dash of sea salt, this dressing offers a tasty treat on your greens.

So there! If you want to be fit, start eating salads using these healthy alternatives.  Oh, there’s one more thing: Be careful with the toppings.  If you really must use them, mix in croutons and bacon bits sparingly. For a more guiltless pleasure, try any of these: Olives, apple chips, roasted almonds or chickpeas.

 

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