Healthy Salad Dressings: Nutritional Information on Eight Varieties

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Healthy Salad Dressings Available in the Stores

Salad dressings are generally of two types – ones that are creamy with a base of mayonnaise, sour cream or buttermilk and cheese; and those that have vinegar and oil as their main ingredient. Although the latter is supposed to be heart healthy and low calorie, creamy dressings can also be healthy if ingredients used are low-fat and sugar-free.

List of healthy salad dressings available in the market:

Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard

Ingredients: Water, Creole mustard, Cider vinegar, Sugar, Vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola oil), Honey, and 2 percent or less of Salt, Buttermilk solids, Onion, Garlic.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 70, total fat – 4g, saturated fat – 1g, transfat – 0g, cholesterol – 0mg, sodium – 280mg, total carbs – 7g, dietary fiber – 0g, sugars 5g.

Newman’s Own Lighten Up Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients: Water, Balsamic vinegar, Vegetable oil (canola oil and/or soybean oil), Sugar, Distilled vinegar, Salt, Extra virgin olive oil, Contains 2 percent or less of: Garlic, Spice, Onion, Red bell pepper and sulfites.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 45, total fat – 4g, saturated fat – 0.5g, cholesterol – 0 mg, sodium – 390mg, total carbs – 2g, dietary fiber – 0g, sugars – 2g.

Newman’s Own Lighten Up Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing

Ingredients: Water, Distilled vinegar, Sugar, Soy sauce, Ginger pulp, Ginger puree, Sesame oil, Canola oil, Salt, Pineapple concentrate, Contains 2 percent or less of: Lemon juice concentrate, Garlic, Onion, Toasted sesame seed.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 35, total fat – 1.5g, saturated fat – 0g, transfat – 0g, sodium – 390mg, total carbs – 5g, dietary fiber – 0g, sugars – 4g.

Kraft’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Greek Vinaigrette with Feta Cheese and Oregano

Ingredients: Water, Extra-virgin olive oil, Soybean oil, Red wine vinegar, Salt, Feta cheese and Oregano.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 50, total fat – 5g, saturated fat – 1g, transfat – 0g, cholesterol – 0mg, sodium – 360mg, total carbs – 2g, sugars – 1g.

Girard’s Light Caesar Dressing

Ingredients: Water, Soyabean oil, Corn syrup solids, Corn-cider vinegar, Parmesan cheese, Salt, milk, Egg yolks, Anchovies and MSG.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 90, total fat – 8g, saturated fat -1.5g, cholesterol – 10mg, sodium – 370mg, total carbs – 5g, sugars – 2g.

Marie’s Lite Creamy Ranch Dressing

Ingredients: Non-fat buttermilk, Water, Soybean oil, Less than 2 percent of - Salt, Cornstarch, Distilled vinegar, Egg yolk, Onion, Garlic, and Sugar.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 60, total fat – 6g, saturated fat – 1g, cholesterol – 5mg, sodium – 200mg, total carbs – 2g, sugars – 1g.

Hidden Valley Ranch Light

Ingredients: Water, Corn syrup, Buttermilk, Salt, less than 2 percent of Vinegar, Garlic, Onion, Sour cream, Vegetable oil (canola oil and/or soybean oil), MSG.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 30, total fat – 0g, saturated fats – 0g, sodium – 155mg, total carbs – 3g, sugars – 1g.

Litehouse Salsa Ranch Lite Dressing & Dip

Ingredients: Lowfat buttermilk, Tomatoes, Canola Oil, Water, Nonfat sour cream, Tomato paste, Onions, Garlic, Sugar, Cider vinegar, White vinegar, Egg yolk, Salt, Jalapeno peppers, Apple juice concentrate.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 60, total fat – 5g, saturated fat – 0.5g, cholesterol – 5mg, sodium – 200mg, total carbs – 2g, sugars – 2g.

Homemade Salad Dressings

Almost all store-bought salad dressings contain unhealthy ingredients such as added sugar, corn syrup, preservative, artificial colors, partially hydrogenated oils or trans-fats and the dreaded MSG. So, why get a bottled salad dressing when you can prepare healthy salad dressings at home? Here are some good and healthy ones you can make at home in a jiffy.

Geary’s Healthy-Fat Blend Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Mike Geary, the certified Personal Trainer and a certified Nutrition Specialist, recommends the following home made, zero cholesterol, non-sodium dressing for salads.

  • 1/3 of container filled with balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 of container filled with apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 of container with extra virgin olive oil
  • Add just a small touch (approx 1 or 2 teaspoons) of real maple syrup
  • Add a little bit of onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper

Shake the container to mix all ingredients well.

Fat-free Tomato-Basil Dressing

This is a fat free salad dressing with very low sodium.

  • 1/2 cup vegetable juice cocktail (mostly tomato)
  • 1 Tbsp powdered fruit pectin
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove minced garlic

Combine ingredients and stir till pectin dissolves completely.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 10, fat – 0g, cholesterol – 0mg, sodium – 90mg.

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

This salad dressing is high in calories since blue cheese is high in saturated fats (8.1g in 2 tbsp of cheese) and high in sodium (395mg per 2 tbsp) as well. But you can make this a healthy dressing by using low fat mayonnaise and non-fat buttermilk.

  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk, or nonfat milk
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (1 ounce)

Whisk mayonnaise, buttermilk (or milk), yogurt, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Add cheese and stir, mashing with a spoon until the cheese is incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Stir before using.

Nutrition facts per 2 Tbsp: Calories – 38, fat – 3g, cholesterol – 4mg, total carbs – 2g, sodium – 215mg.

If you find these recipes too tedious to prepare, an easy recipe would be the Zesty dressing. Simply mix together equal parts lemon juice, orange juice and lime juice. Add fresh minced garlic, fresh dill and your favorite salad herbs and a pinch of Celtic salt. Chill to blend flavors. Voila! A healthy salad dressing is ready.

Try the healthy salad dressings from the store or make your own. Experimenting with salad dressings can be fun and yes, healthy too!


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