5 Healthy Salad Dressings As Picked by a Dietitian
By Emily Artner, MS, RD, LD, Expert Dietitian
Salads are intrinsically healthy, right? I hate to say it, but this isn’t always the case. Many people want a little extra flavoring to spice up their favorite greens, and they turn to salad dressings to do the trick. But dressings can be high-calorie, high-sugar, and full of chemicals and preservatives.
To help sift through the long list of available dressings, I have picked five dressings to keep your salad in line – and your goals reachable!
Like many food options, homemade can be one of the healthiest. Not only can you can control what goes into your dressing, but you can also tinker with flavorings to get the taste you want. And they are actually quite simple to make!
One of my favorite mix-and-match combinations is to start with a base of 3 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice. You can then add a dash of salt, pepper, and other seasonings you enjoy like crushed red pepper, oregano, Italian, rosemary, etc. The combinations are endless, healthy, and delicious!
2. Marzetti Simply Dressed® Light Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
Billed as “rich in flavor but light in calories”, this dressing made the list because it is low-calorie (35 calories per 2 tablespoons) and is mostly made from wholesome ingredients. Need more incentive to try it? There’s only 2 grams of sugar!
3. Sky Valley Olive Oil and Balsamic
This healthy-fat powerhouse gives you everything you need for a heart-healthy salad. With an impressive whole food ingredient list, less than 1 gram of sugar per serving, and only 100 calories, this dressing is a perfect rendition of the classic olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.
4. Tessamae’s™ Organic Creamy Ranch
Are you a ranch lover looking for a healthier alternative? This dressing has your name on it. Created to be an approved dressing on the Whole30 plan, this dressing allows you to balance your health while also satisfying the ranch craving. It is allergy-friendly, and is composed of wholesome ingredients. Portion control is still key, however, as it has 170 calories per 2 tablespoons.
5. Simple Truth® Organic Goddess Dressing
This Kroger brand keeps calories in check by delivering a tasty dressing that is low-fat and no-sugar. The creamy goodness will make you feel like you’re indulging without veering off your plan. Sodium is a bit high, so watch your portions!
As always, read nutrition labels to understand the nutrients (or lack thereof) of your favorite products. If you missed my last post, I introduced a 6-step way to read nutrition labels right every time, so definitely check it out.
Lastly, when you do find a dressing you like but you want to make it even healthier, order it on the side or buy a small container to take with you to work (1-2 tablespoon capacity). Once you have it on the side, dip your fork into the ramekin or portable container and then take a bite. You will get the taste of the dressing on each bite, but will only use half of the dressing!
Happy searching, and if you need any nutritional advice or weight loss assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!