Salad Dressing: Undressed

Salad Dressing: Undressed

A naughty salad dressing can ruin your whole healthy salad.  BUT how do you know which one is the best choice?  There are so many…and one can only read so many labels.


So I’ve done a little research for you.  There aren’t a lot of clear winners.  Some rules of thumb:

–>Fruity vinaigrettes are usually high in added sugar
–>Low Fat dressings are typically insanely high in added sugar
–>Creamy dressings are usually very high in fat
–>Everything else can completely vary!

So that leaves…oil and vinegar?  Yes, that is probably the healthiest choice, or a yogurt based dressing, provided it’s low fat yogurt and they don’t add a ton of sugar.  Making your own beats store bought most of the time.  Bolthouse Farms is a great option that is available at Target, Walmart, etc in the produce section and is yogurt based.

Here is a breakdown of a few dressings for you.  Although fat is all and good and necessary for a healthy diet, you don’t want a ton of it.  For sodium, you should aim for less than 300 mg a serving, and less than 3 grams of sugar per serving.  If you want me to add another particular one to the list, comment below!  I’ll add it in so you can see where it measures up.  Overall, look for one where everything is on the low side – like the Bolthouse Farms below.

(This is sorted by calories, but that that doesn’t mean some are better than others.  You can see the Chick Fil a Light Italian is the lowest in calories but the sodium is way too high).

Salad Dressing Calories Fat Sat Fat Sodium (<300mg/serv) Sugars (<3g/serving)
Chick Fil a Light Italian 25 1.5g 0 470mg 2g
Bolthouse Farms Salsa Ranch 45 3g .5g 210mg 2g
Newman’s Own Honey Mustard 70 4g .5g 240mg 5g
Wendy’s Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette 80 5g 1g 240mg 7g
Chick Fil a Light Balsamic Vinaigrette 80 4g .5g 360mg 9g
Olive Garden Italian Dressing 80 8g 2g 520mg 2g
Chick Fil a Fat Free Honey Mustard 90 0 0 330mg 20g
Ken’s Zesty Italian 90 8g 1g 550mg 4g
Simply Natural Organic balsamic vinagrette (BJ’s) 100 11g 2g 105mg 1g
Annie’s Naturals Balsamic Vinaigrette 100 10g 1g 55mg 2g
Panera Bread Green Goddess Dressing 110 10g 1.5g 140mg 3g
Wendy’s Ancho Chipotle Ranch 110 10g 2g 330mg 2g
Newman’s Own Parmesan & Roasted Garlic 110 11g 2g 340mg 1g
Good Seasoning Packets (prepared as instructed) 130 7g 0g 320mg 0g
Hidden Valley Ranch 140 14g 2.5g 260mg 1g
Wishbone Chunky Blue Cheese 150 14g 2.5g 240mg 1g
Chipotle Honey Vinagrette 260 25g 4g 700mg 11g
Chick Fil a Avocado Lime Ranch 350 32g 5g 520mg 2g

It boggles my mind that restaurants who care enough to offer healthy salad options don’t care the same about the dressings to accompany them!  Stay tuned – will be posting a 21 day fix approved, clean eating vinaigrette soon!



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