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Happy Heart's Low-Fat Salad Dressings

Happy Heart pouring salad dressingBy Liz Moore, RD, LDN

Salad dressings add great flavor to boring dishes, but they can also add extra calories and fat. Even some of the reduced-fat dressings can contain more sugar and carbohydrates than regular dressings. These “lite” dressings may prevent you from getting all the nutrients from your salad, according to a study in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. That is because carotenoid-rich vegetables — such as carrots, tomatoes and onions — are fat-soluble. They should be eaten with fat-based dressing in order to get the benefits from the vegetables.

Making your own salad dressings is less expensive, tastier and healthier than the store-bought versions. Use olive or canola oil in your dressing for a good source of healthy, unsaturated fat. If you prefer creamy dressing, try using plain, non-fat yogurt as a base and add different seasonings for flavor.

These healthy salad dressings are tasty and easy to make. Be sure to measure the amount of dressing you use on your salad (one serving size is about 2 tablespoons) to add the right amount of flavor and healthy fats without going overboard. Whisk up a batch and store them in the refrigerator to dress salads, to use as a dip, or to add flavor to other dishes.


herbed vinagarette dressingHerb Vinaigrette

Serves 3
1 serving size = 2 Tbsp

Ingredients

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
Ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve over salad or other desired dish. Re-whisk each time it is used.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 130; Total fat: 14g; Saturated fat: 1.5g; Total Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 4mg; Total Carbohydrate: 2g; Total fiber: 0g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 0g


mustard dressingMustard Vinaigrette

Serves 4
1 serving size = 2 Tbsp

Ingredients

5 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve over salad or other desired dish. Re-whisk each time it is used.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 155; Total fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 1g; Total Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 15mg; Total Carbohydrate: 0g; Total fiber: 0g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 0g


yogurt dressingCreamy Yogurt Dressing

Serves 5
1 serving size = 3 to 4 Tbsp

Ingredients

16 oz. plain non-fat yogurt
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped 

Directions

Stir all ingredients together. If a creamier texture is preferred, yogurt can be blended in a food processer. This can be used as salad dressing or as a dip.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 98; Total fat: 5g; Saturated fat: 0.75g; Total Cholesterol: 2mg; Sodium: 70mg; Total Carbohydrate: 7g; Total fiber: 0g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 5g


Elisabeth (Liz) Moore, RD, LDNElisabeth (Liz) Moore, RD, LDN, is our resident guru in heart-healthy nutrition. She is a registered dietitian for BIDMC's CardioVascular Institute (CVI) and sees patients in BIDMC's outpatient nutrition clinic and the CVI's Cardiovascular Health and Lipid Center. Moore received her BS degree in human nutrition at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Above content provided by the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted April 2014

Contact Information

CardioVascular Institute at
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
888-99-MYCVI
617-632-9777

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