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!