Ask the RD: Is There A Healthy Store Bought Salad Dressing?

Ask the RD: Is There A Healthy Store Bought Salad Dressing?

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Q: Is there a healthy store bought salad dressing?

 

A: I get this question SO often from my clients so I am glad it came up here!

 

Many of us (myself included) have picked up pre-made salad dressing from the supermarket at one time or another. The most popular brand in Canada that seems to take up most of the shelf space in the salad dressing section is from Kraft. Today I want to go through the ingredient list with you all to explain why I don’t recommend these dressings as a healthy addition to your salad.

First let’s start by listing off the ingredients from the Kraft Greek and Oregano dressing:

Water, soybean oil, corn syrup, white vinegar, wine vinegar, sugar, salt, feta and romano cheese, garlic, cucumber juice, dried garlic, dried onions, spices and herbs, oregano, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, phosphoric acid, calcium disodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol Alginate (Thickener), Lactic Acid (Enhances Tartness), Sodium Benzoate. (B346E)

Usually I like to look at the top ingredients on the list because the ingredients are listed by weight. If you remember from my previous post on fats, the oil base of this dressing is made from a very inflammatory fat, soybean oil, which in my opinion should not be consumed on a regular basis if we are focused on enhancing our health with the foods we eat.

Next up we have corn syrup, which if you remember from this post is one of the ingredients I recommend avoiding if possible. Over 95% of corn is genetically modified. Depending on who you speak with in the health community you may hear a different opinion on genetically modified foods, however my thought on these foods is that if we can avoid them it is a good idea.

The next ingredient is an obvious red flag – sugar. Our maximum daily intake of sugar should be 26 grams (approximately 4 teaspoons) and ideally the closer we get it to zero, the better. Sugar is added to SO many food products that really don’t require any sugar at all and this salad dressing would be one (1).

Okay Kristin, so you’ve told us what NOT to have, now give us some ideas for something else!

I will give you some great recipes for homemade salad dressing soon but if you don’t think making homemade salad dressing is for you (trust me, it is SO easy) then you still have options!

One salad dressing that I feel comfortable suggesting to my clients is the Bolthouse Farms brand. Typically you will see this dressing in the produce section at the supermarket.

So why is this brand better? Let’s outline the ingredients on their balsamic vinaigrette(2):

Reduced acid pineapple juice from concentrate, balsamic vinegar, natural flavor, salt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, xanthan gum, red bell pepper, onion, flaxseed oil, spice.

As you can see, none of the red flag ingredients that we found in the Kraft salad dressing are in the Boathouse Farms dressing! 

Below I have outlined some delicious salad dressings that you can make at home! The best thing: they are all refined sugar free, contain no corn syrup and the only oil used is olive oil.

 

*Note: I have collected these recipes from the Clean Eating Magazine over time.

 

Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing

Makes: 1 cup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 1 lime), plus 1/4 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 red chile, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp dried ginger spice
  • Pinch sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS: 

To a Mason jar, add all ingredients and 1/4 cup water; shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Nutrients per serving (1 tbsp): calories: 26, total fat: 2 g, sat. fat: 0 g, carbs: 2 g, fiber: 0 g, sugars: 1 g, protein: 1 g, sodium: 8mg, cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Avocado Lime Dressing

Makes: 1 1/4 cups

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 1 lime),plus 1⁄4 tsp lime zest
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced(keep the pit)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Pinch sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

To a Mason jar, add all ingredients (including the avocado pit) plus 1/2 cup water and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. The pit will help emulsify the dressing as well as keep it a vibrant green. Remove pit before serving.

Nutrients per serving (1 tbsp): calories: 31, total fat: 3 g, sat. fat: 0 g, carbs: 1 g, fiber: 1 g, sugars: 0 g, protein: 0 g, sodium: 7 mg, cholesterol: 0 mg.

 

Creamy Curry Dressing

Makes: 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hummus
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 red chile, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried ginger spice
  • Pinch sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

To a Mason jar, add all ingredients and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Nutrients per serving (1 tbsp): calories: 29, total fat: 2 g, sat. fat: o g, carbs: 1 g, fiber: 0.5 g, sugars: 0 g, protein: 1 g, sodium: 36 mg, cholesterol: o mg.

 

Tahini Dill Dressing

Makes: 1 cup

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon), plus 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste (you’ll be able to find this at any grocery store – it is likely in the “natural food” section)
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 1/4 tbsp minced garlic
  • Pinch sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Add the acid: To a Mason jar, add lemon juice and zest.
  • Add the fat: in this case, the tahini paste.
  • Add the emulsifier: In this recipe, we use maple syrup.
  • Add the flavor enhancers: Here, it is the dill, garlic and salt.
  • Shake vigorously until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Be certain to sample your dressing with a leaf of the greens or lettuce you are using to get a sneak peek of the dressing’s taste in action.

Nutrients per serving (1 tbsp): calories: 27, total fat: 2 g, sat. fat: 0 g, carbs: 2 g, fiber: 0 g, sugars: 1 g, protien: 1 g, sodium: 9 mg, cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Do you have some salad dressing recipes that you love to make at home? Or do you know a store bought salad dressing that does not have soybean oil, corn syrup or sugar? Please share in the comments below.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Yours in Health,

Kristin

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