Some say the secret to a delicious salad is the dressing. But with the many varieties of commercial dressings on the market, how can you be sure you're getting a salad dressing that's both tasty and healthful?
Know What to Watch Out For
When shopping for dressings, look for those with the fewest ingredients and very little sugar. Any commercial dressing with 3 grams of sugar or less per 2 tablespoons is recommended on the South Beach Diet. Also, look for dressings made with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats like extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil and avoid dressings made with trans fats. Just remember to be careful of low-fat or nonfat dressings, as these often contain added sugars to improve the flavor.
Prepare Dressings at Home
The healthiest salad dressings are homemade, using simple ingredients such as extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon or lime juice, garlic, and fresh herbs. By making your own salad dressings, you have control over what you eat. Here are two South Beach Diet-friendly salad dressing recipes:
Green Goddess Dressing (Phase 1) — In a blender, combine 1/2 medium avocado, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon water, 2 roughly chopped scallions, and 1 small clove garlic; purée until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice; blend just until combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Soy-Ginger Dressing (Phase 1) — Whisk together 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, and 1 minced garlic clove. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup canola oil.
What’s a Serving?
We recommend using no more than 2 tablespoons of dressing per serving, but go especially easy on the creamier options. Many people prefer their dressing on the side, even at home.