Great Low-Fat Dressings

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Dressings make a huge difference in the healthfulness of a salad and how good it tastes. It doesn't take much to adopt healthy salad dressings -- these tasty additions may encourage you incorporate more greens into your meals. But before you learn how to make healthy dressings, here's the truth about the worst dressing offenders.

What are these bad dressings? Any dressing that uses mayonnaise, hydrogenated oils, lots of sugar and salt, preservatives (i.e. MSG), artificial flavors and colors, processed meat, fried ingredients, candied or flavored nuts, and even croutons are probably not healthful. These are ingredients high in trans-fat, sugar and salt and low in nutrition. Drenching your salad with too much dressing adds more unnecessary fat and calories to your meal.

How about the good dressings? Fresh greens like rocket, watercress, romaine, spinach and butter-crunch are refreshing in taste even without any dressing. However, it doesn't mean your salad should taste bland. Thinly sliced fresh fruit and berries are great for adding flavor to salads. A few cheese crumbles or lowfat protein, like chicken, also add flavor.

Pump up the veggies in your salad by topping it with salsa. If you must eat a salad with dressing, try making your own. Homemade dressings contain no additional preservatives -- unlike the bottled and packaged supermarket versions. They are easy to make and leftovers can keep well for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Here are some great, low-fat basic dressings you can try at home.