Salad dressings can really add up; especially if you’re trying to watch your weight

November 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Salad dressing can be a blessing or a curse for those of us watching our figures. There are many store bought dressings that are reasonable in calories such as Presidents Choice Caesar Yogurt Dressing: 40 calories per tablespoon (Tbsp) or about 50% less calories than traditional Caesar dressings made from oil instead of yogurt. Incidentally, the goal for any store bought salad dressing is 40 calories or less per Tbsp and use only 2 Tbsp on yoursalad portion.

But what about making it yourself?  Diligently count those calories because for every Tbsp of oil, you’re adding 120 calories to your salad! Not to mention 1 Tbsp of honey ‘costs’ 60 calories, 1 Tbsp of sugar ‘costs’ 45 calories and the list goes on…  So what do I suggest?  Get an oil sprayer.  Lightly spritz your salad with oil instead of mixing oil into the dressing and then add other ingredients such as vinegar and spices separately. Alternatively, you can use a balsamic ‘glaze’ (balsamic vinegar that has been reduced to a more syrup like consistency by simmering for 12 minutes) on your salad. Glaze can also be purchased at most grocery stores, ’costs’ about 25 calories per Tbsp and provides a sweeter, fuller mouth feel which mimics the weight of oil based dressings without the added calories.

If creamy dressings are more your thing, try replacing the oil in your favourite salad dressing recipe with Quark light.  Quark is a soft, spreadable cheese that can be purchased in most grocery stores and when using the ‘light’ version, will only contribute 1 calorie per gram used; so each Tbsp of Quark only contributes 15 calories per Tbsp used – compare that to 120 calories for a Tbsp of oil and the choice is obvious, or at least is should be ;)   Enjoy!