Salad dressings: best and worst for your health revealed!

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  • Working out the best salad dressings for your diet and differentiating between the healthiest salad dressings and worst salad dressings for your diet can be difficult, so we round up some popular buys and dish the dirt on their real fat and calorie counts.

    Salad is usually assumed to be the diet-friendly option, but after you’ve added your favourite dressing, how healthy is it?

    Let’s be honest – whenever we pick a salad over a huge creamy bowl of pasta, or a juicy burger for dinner, we normally feel pretty pleased with ourselves – we’ve picked the lower calories, nutrient packed option over the calorific meals we shunned.

    But are all salads as healthy as we think? Unfortunately, the addition of salad dressing can tip your veggie-packed meal from healthy to supremely healthy, as many options on the supermarket shelves include a whole heap of calories that you might not expect.

    MORE: Pre-packed salads: the best and worst revealed!

    But how do you know which is the healthiest salad dressing to pick? An expect shares their verdict:

    Although oil-based dressings aren’t exactly brilliant, creamy, egg-based dressings can have an unexpectedly huge calorie count, rendering our salad no where near as healthy as we might have thought. Lead Dietician from Bupa Cromwell Hospital Nutrition, Niamh Hennessy, said, “If you’re buying a salad dressing, pay close attention to the nutrition information on the packaging – it may include a traffic light system, so try to choose a dressing that has a green classification for fat and sugar content.”

    She also suggested using less salad dressing than you might normally put on your salad. “Around a tablespoon of salad dressing tends to be the recommended serving size, but it may be tempting to drizzle on more.” Niamh said. But she warned, “Within this extra drizzle, you could be consuming extra calories in the form of oil, sugars, salt, cheese and egg yolk.”

    So, in order to figure out the truth, we compared some of the most popular salad dressings on the market to see which ones we should be stocking up on and which ones we should be leaving on the supermarket shelves. All nutritional values are per 100g, to measure them all equally.

    Which of these dressings is your favourite? Did the results shock you? Let us know in our comments section below…

    Healthiest salad dressings – and which ones are not the healthiest: