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The Serotonin-Plus Program recommends eating lots of vegetables and protein.  Lunches and dinners are the meals that we consider adding salads to our repertoire.  We encourage adding lots of protein to lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and a bunch of other vegetables into the mixture.  However, the vegetables and protein alone are not nearly as tasty to our palates without adding a salad dressing.  We are often asked the question about what salad dressings are “allowed” during our program.

The “ideal” salad dressing should have as least carbs, fat, sugar and sodium as possible.  Using these guidelines, it would seem that a couple of tablespoons of water may be the best salad dressing, but clearly we all crave some sort of taste/flavor to our dressings and Propel grape flavored water just won’t cut it.  So, lets first look at some of the least SP-friendly salad dressing and their nutritional contents:

Ken’s Thousand Island Dressing:

Nutrition (2 tbsp): 140 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 0 g protein

Wishbone’ Buffalo Ranch:

Nutrition (2 tbsp): 120 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 0 g protein

Kraft’s Honey Mustard:

Nutrition (2 tbsp): 120 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 0 g protein

Newman’s Own Ranch

150 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 310 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 0 g protein

Let’s now contrast this to some salad dressings that are more compatible with the weight loss journey:

Annie’s Organic Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Nutrition (2 tbsps) Calories: 70 g Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 0.5g Sodium: 170mg

Bolthouse Farms Italian Vinaigrette: 

Nutrition (2 tbsps) Calories: 70 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 0.5g Sodium: 170mg

The key point:  We should be looking at salad dressing with the least amount of carbs, sugars, fats and sodium.  Look at the labels of the various salad dressing available and compare these.  Another issue:  Do not be fooled by the “low fat” or “lite” designations on the names.  Often, these are sort of misleading as the other components present challenges for long -term weight control.

A good rule of thumb:  Any salad dressing that pours like ketchup because of its thickness (Caesar, Honey Mustard, French, Thousand Island, etc) will not be as good as the dressings that pour like liquid.

Enjoy those salads but be vigilant on the dressings you are pouring on top of them.