Food and what is in it, has become a complex thing. Even salad dressing calories have become complicated.
I remember years ago, legislation to have food companies put ingredients on the package, and show the calorie count was fought vigorously by the food companies, before being passed into law.
Home Cooked Meals
My mom was a stay at home mom and a terrific homemaker. She grew up on a farm, and was concerned about the food we eat. She did all the food shopping and prepared the meals, which were healthy. She leaned towards nature foods over packaged foods, and kept the whole family healthy in my growing up years.
Restaurants, Salad Dressings and Diabetics
I have been diabetic for more than 20 years. It is a diet disease, and I have to stay away from or eat as little sugar and carbs as possible. Not an easy thing to do today, with the plethora of packaged foods that we have become accustomed to.
For a diabetic, trying to navigate a healthy meal in a restaurant today, is not an easy thing to do. Some fast food restaurants should be complimented for having a salad on the menu, as many do not.
Most better restaurants now have a few salads on the menu. And that is great. Many people will eat a salad, thinking it will keep their blood sugar low. But a couple hours later when they take their blood, they find it is high. What happened ?
The problem is often the salad dressing. What kind of salad dressing was on the salad, and what is the calories count of the dressing ?
Commercially Made Salad Dressings
My wife buys a few different types of salad dressing. In our fridge we have the following Kraft dressings –
Zesty Italian – Low Calorie – 5 calories per tablespoon
Ranch – 20 calories per tablespoon
Poppyseed Dressing – 60 calories per tablespoon
Coleslaw Dressing – 70 calories per tablespoon
Searching the kraft.com website, they have about 70 different salad dressings shown.
I buy and use the Low calorie one, with 5 calories per tablespoon.
Calories Per Salad
I find I need about 3 tablespoons on my salad to make it taste good, so that is 15 calories. But if I use the Ranch dressing that is 20 calories x 3 tablespoons = 60 calories for the salad.
If I used the Poppyseed dressing, that would be 60 x 3 = 180 calories ! So the difference of calories between dressings can be a major consideration.
I often eat a salad that is about 100 calories for all the vegetables in the salad. It is easy to dump 150 calories of salad dressing on a 100 calorie salad.
The Original Oil & Vinegar Dressing
Maybe the answer is to not use commercial salad dressings at all. Maybe it is time to go back to low calorie dressings you can make.
I found a variety of recipes from the link below – 50 Salad Dressing Recipes
I looked at some of the common ingredients in these recipes and listed the calories Per Tablespoon below –
Vegetable Oil 120 calories
Olive oil 119 calories
Coconut Oil 117 calories
Butter 102 calories
Peanut Butter 94 calories
Honey 64 calories
Mayonaise 57 calories
Hellmann’s Light Mayonaise 40 calories
Sour Cream 31 calories
Balsamic vinegar 13 calories
Minced Garlic 10 calories
Mustard 6 calories
Dijon Mustard 4 calories
Vinegar 3 calories
Red Wine Vinegar 3 calories
Shallotts chopped 7 calories
Highest and Lowest Calorie Dense Salad Ingredients
The highest calorie dense items are the oils, being at 100 calories or more per tablespoon. The lowest calorie dense item is vinegar.
If you are looking for new salad dressing tastes, you could search and find a few vinaigrette dressings that appeal to you.
For now, I am happy using my Kraft Zesty Italian Low Calorie at 5 calories per tablespoon.