Dressing Yourself Skinny
One of my favorite ways to “healthify” a meal is by adding a salad. Not only do I get a serving (or more) of veggies, eating a salad helps fill you up (yay for fiber!) and stops you from eating as much of the (unhealthy) stuff.
But beware! Your salad may actually be hurting your healthy efforts. The culprit? Salad dressing. One serving (2tbsp or 30g) of normal salad dressing can pack between 100C to 200C and around 15g of fat. AHH! For example, one serving of Kraft’s Ranch Dressing is 148C and 15.6g of fat.
Now, dressing has a lot to offer, like flavor and seasoning. So, how can you get that without all the calories? Here are my tips…
- Dressing on the side. Customize how much or how little you want. A little dressing (a few teaspoons or so) can go a long way. OR, you can lightly dip the veggies into the dressing.
- Choose yummy toppings instead of dressing. Add tasty toppings for added nutrition and flavor. My suggestions: blue cheese, feta cheese, gorgonzola, nuts, candied nuts, seeds, dried fruit (like cranberries), fruit (like apples, mandarins, and raspberries), veggies (like carrots)
- Pick Low Fat, Fat Free, and Low Cal varieties. Switching to these for full-fat varieties, you can save 100C and 14g of fat or more per serving (according to Cooking Light). Amy’s Naturals makes great tasting healthy options that are also organic. According to Cooking Light What to Eat, the three healthiest dressings are fat-free (FF) balsamic vinaigrette/Italian, light sesame ginger, and FF ranch/French/thousand island. The least healthy? Ranch and Blue Cheese.
- Keep things simple with vinegar (health benefits and cuts blood sugar), oil (don’t overload!), salt and pepper. Also, oil and vinegar-based dressings are generally low in calories and high in healthy fats
- Shake on some salt and pepper. It’s amazing what adding even a little of these can do to the flavor of veggies.
- Make your own. This way you can control what goes into the dressing and customize it to your likes. For some recipes, check out this compilation by from Cheap, Healthy, Good.
Question: How do you like to healthify your salads? What are your tips and tricks for healtifying other meals?
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