The key to quick salad prep is having a great dressing right on your fridge door. But which bottled options are most worthy of your kale-avocado creations?
Keep It Simple
Oil, vinegar, spices — these are the real-food ingredients you know well and want to see leading the list. Some dressings may also contain small amounts of preservatives, like xanthan gum, which are fine. What to avoid: artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners; corn syrup; and partially hydrogenated oil (trans fats).
Know Your Numbers
Try to stay under 150 calories and at around 200 mg of sodium per serving, which is usually a 2-tablespoon pour. And keep checks on sugar — 5 grams, tops.
Don't Be Fat-Phobic
Fat's a good thing: It can help you absorb a salad's vitamins and feel fuller. No-fat versions may be lower in cals, but they often crank up sugar and salt.
Check Your Oil
Cheer when you find olive oil — it's a great source of heart-healthy fat. Canola is another smart choice.
5 Taste Test Winners
1. Annie's Naturals: Lite Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Fewer cals and less sugar and sodium compared with many. (And no corn syrup!)
40 cal, 3 g sugar, 125 mg sodium per serving (annies.com)
2. Cindy's Kitchen: Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
The produce-aisle pick stars an olive- and canola-oil blend and a snappy mix of herbs.
100 cal, 0 g sugar, 220 mg sodium per serving (cindyskitchen.com)
3. Newman's Own: Lite Italian
A great option findable at almost any grocer.We like the olive oil plus red wine vinegar — and the zero added sugar.
60 cal, 0 g sugar, 260 mg sodium per serving (newmansown.com)
4. Bragg: Organic Vinaigrette
Sharp and lively, this dressing teams Bragg's signature apple cider vinegar with extra-virgin olive oil and just enough garlic.
90 cal, 2 g sugar, 60 mg sodium per serving (bragg.com)
5. Tessemae's All Natural: Soy Ginger
Asian flavor shines in this no-fake-stuff brand, so you can use less (its serving size is 1 tablespoon).
100 cal, 0 g sugar, 125 mg sodium per serving (tessemaes.com)
This story originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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