You’ve stayed away from the high-sugar, high-fat creamy salad dressings, but your salad is a little dry. How can you spruce up that healthy lunch, without packing on all that sugar and sodium that you don’t want, and still stick to your diet?
Well, here are my top four salad dressings that I say taste even better than high-fat creamy dressings—it’s all part of FoodsForBetterHealth.com’s “You Can” Diet—because healthy living doesn’t just have to be about everything you can’t do. It’s about everything you can do.
1. Olive Oil, Lemon, and Salt
I use this dressing practically every day and I find it really keeps my salads from feeling overloaded with cream and sugar, like I’d find in most Caesar dressings. But here’s the thing: overall, this dressing probably has more calories than bottled grocery store dressings. However, the reason I still choose to add it to my salads is because it’s much healthier. Yes, there are more calories (a tablespoon of olive oil has 100 calories, while a tablespoon of many Caesar dressings has only 60 calories), but olive oil is known to be very healthy for you (it’s a staple of the Mediterranean diet, associated with lower risks of cancer and heart disease) and it’s all natural—unlike the sugary dressings loaded with ingredients I don’t even know how to pronounce. So give it a try.
Directions: I recommend a ratio of half a lemon to one tablespoon of olive oil and three pinches of salt. Add a pinch of oregano and black pepper for extra taste. If you’re adventurous, try adding a pinch of “Sumac,” a Middle Eastern spice that tastes good on salads.
2. White Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt, and Sugar
Another one of my favorites, and takes seconds to prepare! This dressing is especially tasty if you like sour salad dressings. An added bonus is that white vinegar contains acetic acid, which can make you feel fuller, faster—especially important if you’re trying to lose weight.
Directions: Add two tablespoons of white vinegar, one tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a teaspoon of sugar. Add a pinch of black salt to taste.
3. Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Salt
For those of you who like sweeter dressings, this one is for you. For centuries, people have been turning fruits, like grapes, into vinegars, and, lucky for us, the vinegars retain the benefits of grapes, including some key nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Plus, balsamic dressing contains polyphenols—nutrients known to fight cancer.
Directions: Add two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt on your salad.
4. The Classic: Salt, Black Pepper, and Olive Oil
There’s nothing wrong with keeping your salad plain and simple. After all, the “You Can” diet is all about letting you eat what you want to eat, not what some diet junkie tells you to eat.
Directions: Add a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and black pepper and enjoy!
Mccoy, H., “White vinegar for weight loss,” eHow web site; http://www.ehow.com/way_5565018_white-vinegar-weight-loss.html, last accessed May 17, 2013.
Casto, R., “Balsamic vinegar health benefits,” eHow web site; http://www.ehow.com/about_5087792_health-benefits-balsamic-vinegar.html, last accessed May 17, 2013.