Salad Sabotage

First rule of nutrition and even weight loss = choose real food that is minimally processed.

Often real foods (except those naturally preserved) have a short shelf life too.

I have spoken in the past of the potential health dangers of transfats, vegetable oils, MSG, sugar especially high fructose corn syrup, additives, colorings, preservatives…. well unfortunately these could all be lurking in your nutritious salad if you choose the wrong dressing. As I say to clients ‘if it comes in a package then you have to read the label to see if your getting more than you hoping for, and if you don’t know the ingredients it’s a good idea to put it back on the shelf’.

 Look at the ingredients to this very popular creamy Italian salad dressing:

Water, soybean oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, contains less than 2% of garlic*, xanthan gum, citric acid, propylene glycol alginate, onions*, polysorbate 60, spice, red bell peppers*, garlic, phosphoric acid, parsley*, vitamin E, natural flavor.

There will be ‘experts’ out there saying there is nothing wrong with these ingredients.  As I wrote in my last episode you can just about find a positive study on nearly every food out there – including the first ingredient after water:  soy bean oil .  I previously wrote about my concerns with soy as a hormonal disruptor but the oil is not only oxidized through the processing creating free radicals, and it also is full of  Omega 6 oils that could lead to a range of inflammatory issues. Then the fourth ingredient is our old foe: sugar. Here again in a highly processed form. Much of the sugar today comes from high fructose corn syrup – but watch out they keep changing/updating its labeling name.

Why ruin something so healthy with a harmful dressing. Instead take a few short moments and make your own. The first ingredient has been well studied, tastes amazing, is minimally processed and the key to most dressings – Extra virgin Olive oil.

Here are some very simple dressings I make at home - naturally I am not a chef so get creative.

 Put all ingredients in a covered jar, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds:

Garlic and mustard Variation

  • 4 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

 

Basic Red Wine Vinegar with Shallots

  • 4 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoons flaxseed oil
  • 2 shallots, diced very fine
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Fresh Dressing

  •  Lemon zest
  • 4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of Natural Sea salt
  • Pinch of Black pepper

 

Lime and Fresh Mint Vinaigrette

  • 4 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced lime zest
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Splash of water

 

 

 

So don’t hold back on the salads, its no secret that fresh raw vegetables offer a bounty of goodness just steer clear from the nutrient poor fake foods trying to rob your body of health. Keep it simple, keep it real.