Most of us eat a salad as our go-to diet dish when we want to have something low calorie and healthy. But beware of what you put on top of your salad – a couple tablespoons of that bottled ranch could derail your weight loss goals and make you feel bloated. Ugh! So if you’re doing a good job of integrating salads into your nutrition plan, just beware of some of these disastrous salad dressings and opt for some of our healthier ones below!
In general, you want to stay away from anything in a bottle because they usually have added preservatives, coloring agents, and other chemicals to help preserve their shelf life. If you must do a bottled dressing, keep it simple like a classic olive oil and vinegar herb blend. And always scan the back of the bottle to see what’s inside the dressing you’re choosing for your salads.
And since we’re talking about ingredient labels, make sure you check and see what’s inside your fat-free dressing. Many food manufacturers will add in loads of sugar or other flavor additives to make up for the loss of flavor when taking out the fat. The high sugar content will kick up the calorie count and this is no good for your diet either! Get healthy fats in your dressings from olive oil or avocado oil.
If you like the creamy texture in your salad dressing, try swapping out heavy dressings for ones made with Greek yogurt or skim buttermilk. Making these changes will help lower the amount of unhealthy saturated fats that are hidden inside those heavier dressings. To make your salads even healthier, make a batch of one of these dressings below. We’ve got one to satisfy every tastebud!
Cilantro is a great metabolism booster and this flavorful dressing is full of it. Make a double batch and drizzle over salmon or chicken for some extra flavor, too!
This delicious dressing is full of parsley which keeps your immune system strong, strengthens your bones, and heals the nervous system. And the low-fat buttermilk keeps this dressing on the healthy side so you can enjoy it without the guilt!
We know – we love to put ranch on everything too and now with this healthy version, you can enjoy it without all of the fat and calories in those bottled versions. This one uses Greek yogurt, which has double the protein, half the carbs, and half the sodium of regular yogurts – wow!
This dressing is good if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, but don’t want a ton of calories in your salad. It pairs well with fruit salad, spinach salad, or even drizzled over fish. The pomegranates have tons of antioxidants which help prevent heart disease and cancer, so maybe make a double batch of this one!
Well we already know the benefits of Greek yogurt, but how about the other ingredient in this dressing: chia seeds! They are a true superfood and packed with protein, fiber, and omega 3s -wow! This dressing is perfect on a fruit salad or a beet salad, so toss ’em up and enjoy!
Now that you know some of the worst salad dressings and what to choose instead, you can make better choices for yourself and your family and stay on the path to optimal health!