Are Salad Dressings Fattening not Necessarily – No

The term “fattening” applies to ingesting more calories than we burn. Some foods contribute an astounding number of calories for a very small serving size, and salad dressing is the biggest one of them. Perhaps one way to look at the issue is to call high calorie foods “costly”, rather than fattening. This is because all calories for the day need to be considered, compared with the physical activity for the day, and allocated between food that is mostly nutritious, and food that is more satisfying,but which helps with cravings or binges.

The “costly” component of any salad dressing is in the oil or mayonnaise that binds the ingredients together, provides flavor, and makes the dressing liquid, so that it can be easily tossed to coat delicate leafy vegetables. Light mayonnaise is still made of eggs and oil, however. Reducing the amount of oil may cut some of the fat, but the calories are still very high for a serving. Other liquids such as citrus juice, balsamic vinegar, or low or fat free milk can be added to stretch the heavier elements even further and allow more dressing for the same amount of calories.

Mayonnaise laden dressings used as dips are the best way to rapidly ingest far more calories than are needed, or are burned in a day. This can be helped by thinning with low fat milk, limiting access to the dip, or spreading on a little bit, rather than fully immersing and coating the item in the dip. But dipping is, by far, the most “costly” thing that a person can do with salad dressings.

Oil based dressings are still oil. Oil carries a heavy calorie burden in relation to it’s serving size. Frankly, that is fine. If a person does not have allergies to nut and seeds, then their oils are nothing more than a very healthy part of a rational diet. But some oils are stronger and more flavorful than others. Less is needed in order to add flavor to a salad dressing. A dressing made with extra virgin olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, some citrus, salt and pepper goes a long way to making a salad much healthier and far more edible. Light olive oil has very little flavor in comparison to the extra virgin. Canola oil has practically no flavor at all! So, in choosing oils, the stronger, more flavorful oils may allow a sparing use of just enough to bind the other dressing ingredients smoothly.

Oil based salad dressings make wonderful marinades for lean meats. Marinades add flavor, and healthier fat. The acids from vinegars and citrus help to tenderize the meat. These benefits of using salad dressing on lean meats allow for a happier transition to getting protein from leaner meats.

It fine to consider the calorie burden of a high calorie item in relation to the nutritional gains, satisfaction of cravings, daily calorie intake and daily physical activity. For the person who wants to lose weight, there is still a way to make room for some salad dressing every day. For the person who wants to maintain their current weight, then there is room for salad dressing in the daily calorie allowance. For the person who needs to gain weight, flavorful salad dressings, loaded with healthy herbs and spices, provides a nutritional, calorie packed option with or without the protein and cholesterol from eggs.

In summary, eating too many calories is fattening. Some foods simply contribute far more calories than they’re worth. But salad dressings, which pack an enormous number of calories in a tiny package, can also pack a nutritional, flavorful and necessary wallop when used sparingly, and when incorporated into a well managed overall diet.

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