You have lots of choices when it comes to dressing your salad. Here’s how to find options that are both nutritious and full of flavour.
Fall for Fat
Fat is not the enemy! In fact, pairing vegetables with a little fat (such as what you’ll find in salad dressing) helps your body absorb valuable nutrients like lycopene and beta carotene, antioxidants that help keep arteries healthy. While limiting total fat can be a strategy to help limit calories, many low-fat or light dressings are not necessarily low-cal. When you look at fat on the nutrition facts label, focus on saturated fat rather than total fat. Limiting saturated fat may help lower your risk for heart disease.
Get Smart About Sugar
High-fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, brown sugar,fruit juice, and plain old white table sugar are all types of sugar that can be found in salad dressings. Most salad dressings will have some form of sugar added, but fat-free salad dressings are often higher in sugar and carbohydrates than full-fat varieties. Check the Nutrition Facts label to see how many grams of sugar and carbs are in each serving.
Shake Out Sodium
Salad dressings can be a surprisingly high source of sodium: we found dressings that packed as much as 360 mg into one serving. Looking at the Nutrition Facts label can help you keep sodium in check, which is especially important if you’re limiting your sodium for heart health.
Mind Your Serving A typical portion of salad dressing is 2 tablespoons.
Check the Nutrition Facts panel to confirm the serving size of your favourite dressing— and then use a measuring spoon to see how your normal portion compares. If you are using more than 2 tablespoons, remember to account for the additional calories, sodium, and saturated fat.
Know Your Numbers
Look for dressings that have the following per serving (2 tablespoons): ≤ 150 calories ≤ 5g carbohydrates ≤ 2.5g sat fat ≤ 180mg sodium