Salad Dressing Swaps for Weight Loss
What could be more beautiful than a mountain of fresh and colorful salad piled high on a plate? Salads have always been associated with healthy living; however, all salads are not created equally. A salad is just a salad, simple and full of nutritious bounty until it is spoiled with high-fat, sugar-laden dressing, then it becomes something different, something much less healthy. Many people find that the only way they seem to be able to enjoy a salad is if it is drenched in salad dressing. The health implications of processed salad dressing are far reaching. In fact, eating a salad smothered in unhealthy salad dressing is like riding a bike while drinking a six-pack of beer.
Conventional Salad Dressing
Most store-bought dressings are not only high-calorie but full of chemicals and preservatives, you know, those words on the back of the bottle you can not pronounce? The other problem with salad dressing is that the serving sizes are not realistic. Not many people actually measure their salad dressing servings. A salad dressing that has 150 calories and 14 grams of fat per 2-tablespoon serving will add several hundred calories or more to a simple and very low calorie salad.
There are two different types of conventional salad dressing bases, vinegar-and-oil and creamy. Creamy dressings include things like ranch and blue cheese that are made from sour cream, buttermilk or mayonnaise. Vinegar-and-oil dressings include dressing like Italian, which is a healthier choice than the creamy, but is often made from genetically modified corn, canola or soybean oil and preservatives. While they may be lower in calories than the creamy dressings, they are not exactly good for you.
Healthy Salad Dressing Options
You cannot go far wrong making your own light and delicious salad dressings out of familiar and healthy base ingredients. Not only are these salad dressing light on the waistline but they are also light on your wallet costing only pennies per serving.
Shallot and Grapefruit Dressing
This zippy but light dressing is loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C with only 35 calories.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup shallots
- Juice of 3 grapefruits
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro – chopped
- 1 teaspoon stevia
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fresh pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add in shallots and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in grapefruit juice and bring to a boil, cook about 6 minutes and cool. Add in pepper, cilantro and stevia and place mixture in a blender until smooth. While the blender is running, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until smooth.
Miso, Tahini Dressing
This super easy, three ingredient dressing is a great addition to any salad or can be used on wraps or as a dip for fresh veggies.
- 1/2 cup, white sweet miso
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup warm filtered water
Whisk the miso and tahini together in a medium bowl. Mix until creamy. Pour the warm water slowly into the bowl, whisking as you go until the dressing is the desired consistency. The dressing thickens as it sets. Keep dressing refrigerated.
Yogurt -Cucumber Dressing
This dressing is the perfect compliment to a fresh summer salad.
- 1 cup organic yogurt
- 1/2 cup peeled, seeded cucumber, diced 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled and serve immediately.