Salads are a great way to enjoy a variety of veggies and fruit all year round. They are cool, crunchy and a joy to eat. Even kids prefer a salad or raw veggies to cooked. I think the top kid pick salad dressing would be ranch. Salad dressings can turn salads from bland to exciting, but a not so great dressing choice can add lots of sodium, saturated fat, calories and unhealthy additives to a healthy salad bowl. I always prefer homemade dressings which are tastier, fresher and healthier. A dressing with lemon juice or lime juice add a freshness that is really enjoyable. But for convenience sake, bottled dressings have their place. Before you grab a bottle off the shelf here are some guidelines to help you make the best choice:
Fat Free is not the best way to go because replacing fat often come with more sodium and more sugar to make up for the lost flavor of fat. For many reasons adding more sugar is worse than keeping a little healthy fat. Low- and no-fat salad dressings make the vitamins and nutrients in greens and veggies less available to the body. That’s because carotenoids — a class of nutrient that includes lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin — is fat soluble and can’t be absorbed by the body unless it’s delivered with some fat as well(Purdue Study 2012)
Avoid dressings with a long list of ingredients and additives. Read the list of ingredients in your bottle dressing right now! The list goes on and on with thickeners and dyes. Choosing a clean list (ones you can pronounce) with a few ingredients are more wholesome.
Numbers to look for: Serving size should be 2 Tablespoons; Sodium is better at 200mg or less and keep sugar to less than 5 grams.
Dressings we love: Marie’s Yogurt Ranch, Trader Joe’s Romano Cesar, and Naturally Fresh Light Ranch. Try these homemade dressings too.