When working on a diet goal or simply eating healthier in general, salads tend to be a staple of most people's meal plan. If honest, however, we're not thrilled with swapping a plate of fries, juicy burger, or chips with a bowl of greens. So we push the limits to "spruce" up the flavor in salads with dressings, croutons or meats, often resulting in a dish that rivals the fat and calories of what was being replaced!
When choosing the right salad dressing for your diet (that sticks to it), be sure to consider the following:
Check the Label for Calories and Serving Sizes
Salad dressing is a well-known culprit for turning a healthy salad into something that could rival a greasy cheeseburger. Or, in some cases, be worse. For example, if you trade a cheeseburger at McDonald's for a Caesar Salad with Creamy Caesar dressing, your 22g of fat salad is almost two times higher than that of the cheeseburger. Without the dressing, the salad weighs in at a respectable 4g of fat.
Check out the calorie and fat content for a few other national brands:
- Buttermilk Ranch - 180 calories, 20g fat (2 tbsp)
- Ranch Dressing Salad Packet - 260 calories, 28g fat (1.5 oz)
- Blue Cheese - 150 calories, 14g fat (2 tbsp)
- Homestyle Italian - 100 calories, 10g fat (2 tbsp)
- Thousand Island - 140 calories, 13g fat (2 tbsp)
So how much is the commonly-used 2 tbsp serving of salad dressing? It's about the size of a shot glass. While it is possible to use that little an amount, think about the salad dressing pouches that often come with individual salads. They may contain up to 4 tbsp of dressing, substantially increasing the total fat and calories over suggested serving sizes on store-bought bottles.
Beware the "Light" Salad Dressing
The fix for high calories and fat may not be in dressings designed to be "lighter" or even "fat free." One of the "healthiest" fat-free Italian dressings makes up for the lack of fat by adding an eye-popping 430mg of sodium (in just a 2 tbsp serving), which is almost 1/3 of the recommended daily value - and that's just from a food condiment! Even worse, a few national brands of Fat-Free dressings clock in at over 500mg of sodium per serving.
Oddly enough, another issue with "lighter" salad dressings is that you end up eating bigger servings and feeling less full, due to that lack of calories or other nutritional content. This makes those salad-only meals even more difficult to maintain as hunger may come roaring back shortly after, when unhealthy snacking might begin.
The Solution: Lowered Calorie Protein Salad Dressing
Since salads can be an important part of any healthy diet, including as part of the Healthy Dinner component of the WonderSlim meal plans, we've developed our own reduced calorie dressingthat features the added benefit of 5 grams of protein per serving, which could help to make that bed of leafy greens leave you feeling full much longer.
The WonderSlim line of protein-infused, lowered calorie salad dressings are fat free, gluten-free and range from 30-52 calories per serving. To help with portion-control, our dressings are packaged in single-serve pouches to give you just the right amount (but no more) and make delicious salads that won't accidentally break your diet.
Our diet salad dressings come in 3 popular flavors: Italian, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Honey Dijon. If salads are part of your weight management program (or you want them to be) then it's time to revolutionize the experience by easily adding more protein, but less of the calories and fat.
Learn more about and shop WonderSlim's salad dressings at our store.