Ingredients in store-bought salad dressings can ruin a healthy salad

Make your own salad dressing to keep your salad fresh and healthy. Photo by MCT.

So you’ve been trying to eat more salads to be healthier. Awesome! You’re avoiding any sort of deep-fried toppings, such as chicken fingers or french fries. Note: The Pittsburgh salad is a sacrilege against nutrition.

You feel as if you’re on the right track — a mix of healthy greens and colorful vegetables with some lean protein. You shake your bottle of store-bought dressing, and you’re about to drizzle it on top. Before you do, take a look at the nutrition label.

In a bottle of Kraft Light Ranch — and many other varieties and brands — you’ll find a long paragraph of ingredients. It’s light because it has 70 calories and 4.5 grams of fat per tablespoon. But it’s heavy in artificial ingredients and things that you wouldn’t expect to find: Corn syrup, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and a handful of other words that most people can’t say three times fast.

You can make it yourself in less time than it would take you to stop at the grocery store to buy a bottle. And you might find that it tastes better, too.

This Low-fat Buttermilk Ranch recipe from Skinnytaste uses nonfat sour cream and Greek yogurt and low-fat buttermilk as its main ingredients. You won’t see any of those on a prepackaged dressings.

Also, there’s so much you can do with vinaigrette, which has a magic ratio of 3 to 1 , oil to vinegar. Try altering the flavor with herbs, fruits and different kinds of oils and vinegars.

Read more about how to make your own vinaigrette on Smart.

Tip: When buying store-bought dressings, keep a close eye on the ingredient list. If the bottle says light or fat-free, there’s a good chance there’s more additives to make up for the lack of fat and flavor. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and MSG. Choose dressings with natural ingredients and as few ingredients as possible.

About Leigh Zaleski

I'm a health features reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News and healthy living blogger for No Sweat, York. Contact me with story ideas at lzaleski@ydr.com, 717-771-2101 or @leighzaleski on Twitter.
This entry was posted in Diets, Food, Nutrition, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>