Making homemade healthy salad dressing is delicious, but having a jar or two in the refrigerator is great if you’re in a pinch or missing key ingredients. The problem with most store-bought salad dressing, however, is that they are often filled with processed ingredients, sugar, and refined oils – not exactly what you want on your arugula.
Here’s the salad-loving solution. These three store-bought dressings are minimally processed, filled with real ingredients, and the easiest way to make salad bowls crave-worthy – and even healthier.
Unhealthy Bottled Salad Dressing Ingredients
Spoiler: most salad dressings found at the grocery store actually make salads way less nutritious. Filled with refined industrial oils, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, store-bought salad dressing is more of a health bomb than healthy choice.
Genetically modified industrial vegetable oils, including soybean, cottonseed, canola, and corn, are highly processed oils made by pressing, heating, refining, and using various chemical solvents to create a final product. This product finds its way into packaged foods, baked goods, and yes, salad dressings.
The problem with vegetable oils isn’t just their laborious processing and thus drastic reduction in nutritional value; it is their fat composition. Vegetable oils are packed with omega-6 fatty acids, which in excess, contribute to inflammation.
Although we need both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet to maintain cell membranes and a fully functioning immune system, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is providing just too many omega-6 fats. According to research in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, the ideal balance of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids is 4:1. Today, our ratio looks more like 16:1.
Research has continually shown that diets high in omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, while diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Increased inflammation is linked to heart disease, arthritis, depression, and even cancer.
When it comes to anything store-bought, always read the ingredient label. This is where ingredients like vegetable oil, artificial colors, and refined sugar are lurking – even in (womp, womp) healthy looking salad dressings.
Choose A Better Healthy Salad Dressing
These jars are not only vegetable oil-free, they’re minimally processed, packed with all the good stuff, and absolutely delicious, too.