Wait? A salad can have more calories and chemicals than a cheeseburger? Yup.
A salad is often eaten as a healthy alternative to other foods... But when you douse it with store bought dressing it could be stopping you from burning fat and losing weight, it could even be making you GAIN. And I know what you're thinking, you don't douse it, but truth is, most people do not use the recommended serving size, which is usually just 1-2 tablespoons.
Most pre-made salad dressings contain chemicals, manufactured food. You're thinking to yourself, "I'm using low fat and low calorie dressing, so I'm good." When actually, the fat in full fat dressing is much better than the fake food that is poured into that bottle of low fat, low cal ranch. What light dressings lack in calories and fat, they make up for in sodium and sugar. And not just regular sugar, high fructose corn syrup, which is basically a man made sugar that is difficult for the body to process. It spikes insulin, a hormone that stores fat, so you tell me, do you wanna eat that?!
And, low-fat salad dressings prevent the body’s ability to absorb and utilize the good stuff that your salad provides, carotenoid antioxidants in salad greens and tomatoes, so you're not even getting all the health benefits from your salad. Nutritional studies have found that certain healthy fats, like those in olive oil, were necessary to absorb the full benefits of the other vegetables in the salad.
So remember, low fat, low calorie dressings are generally a no no for those trying to manage weight.
"I’m not about to eat my salad plain," that's what you're thinking. I'm with you! Without dressing it can hardly be called a salad, just a bowl o' raw veggies. I'm a health coach, I still don't want to eat that! I certainly don't expect anyone else to! Yuck. So what can you do? Well, you can look for store bought dressings that have the least amount of ingredients, and ingredients that are recognizable (i.e. No weird chemical names) or you can make your own very easily and very inexpensively. BOOM!
Here's my favorites!
Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons of honey (more if you like it sweet)
Dash of each: chili powder or paprika, pepper, oregano, and granulated garlic.
Small squeeze of lime.
Taste and adjust according to your taste!
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of honey (or more depending on your taste)
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
Sprinkle of sea salt and cracked pepper
Mix all ingredients and drizzle on salad or vegetables. Salad Dressing will stay fresh in an air tight container for several days. Stir it before using.
21 Day Fix Creamy Herb Dressing
1 medium avocado, cut into chunks
1-1/2 C nonfat plain greek yogurt
4 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 dash of white pepper
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients in blender, except for the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Slowly add in the oil and blend well. Store in the refrigerator, tightly sealed/covered until ready for use. Serving Size: 12 servings, 6 tsp each serving.