4 Things to Look for When Picking Out Your Next Salad Dressing

We all know salads are good for us — you can never go wrong with a healthy mix of vegetables and protein. However, they can get boring pretty fast. A great way to spice up your salads is by switching up the salad dressings and trying fun flavors. Unfortunately, many of the dressings that line the grocery store shelves are laden with unhealthy fats and sugars, turning your “super healthy clean salad” into a high-calorie meal.

Still, salads don’t have to be bland and boring. You just have to pick a dressing that’s right for you and will keep you on track with your health goals. If you’re looking to elevate your salad game and add a burst of flavor to your greens while keeping your meals nutritious, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some things to look for the next time you go shopping for salad dressing:

  1. Low to no added sugar

Added sugar is extremely common in processed foods. Overall, the less added sugar, the better. Added sugars are usually highly processed, so your body metabolizes them differently. They will cause your blood glucose levels to spike and drop quickly, rather than providing you with the long term energy you’re looking for. Added sugar leads to weight gain or obesity and puts you at increased risk for diabetes or heart disease. 

  1. Whole food ingredients

When you’re reading an ingredient list, make sure a majority of the ingredients are ones that you can understand or recognize. We’re not saying to recognize necessarily EVERY ingredient (we get it, we’re the expert, not you!), but aim to do your best. Seek out salad dressings that are made from whole foods with minimal additives. Natural ingredients are more nutritious, and will add more than just flavor to your salad. Although these dressings may have a shorter shelf life compared to highly processed ones, they will keep your salad cleaner and more nutritious.

  1. Olive oil or avocado oil as its base

Don’t let the food industry fool you — just because something is fat free doesn’t mean it’s better for you! Many fat free foods are loaded with processed sugars and other additives in order to keep it tasting good. Fats are great for us, especially when they come from natural sources. Fats provide us with the energy we need to get through our busy days and can leave us feeling more satisfied after our meals.

  1. Look for brands you can trust

Some of my favorites are Sir Kensington’s, Primal Kitchen, and Chosen Foods. Another option if you want to keep your dressings 100% natural (aka know what’s going into it,) is making them yourself! There are tons of recipes online and they take no more than 5 minutes to throw together. This way, you never have to question if there’s anything other than whole ingredients going into your dish.

Hopefully you know that a salad dressing alone isn’t going to change your metabolism. However, it’s the small choices we make overtime that help us reach our nutritional goals. Whether you’re a dedicated health enthusiast or just looking to make some minor but impactful changes to your diet, picking a salad dressing with the right ingredients is a wonderful way to take control of your health.

Instead of second guessing what and how much to be eating, imagine having full clarity and confidence in your food choices!

This is exactly what our Nourished Nutrition Breakthrough program provides – education, support, guidance, and accountability so that you can focus in on your MINDSET, MINDFULNESS, and METABOLISM.

If you’re looking to lose weight for good without dieting, feel more confident than ever in your own body, and never second guess about what or how much to eat again, watch our program video and apply for our Nourished Nutrition Breakthrough program.

Article written by nutrition intern, Ari Harkavy. Fact checked by Allison Tallman RD.

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