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Dressing Up Your Salad

dressingZesty Italian®, Creamy Ranch® and Honey Dijon® would make anyone want to eat more leafy greens, but be warned! A rule of thumb to follow when choosing any salad dressing is to actually use your thumb! A single serving of dressing is 1-2 tablespoons, or roughly the size of your whole thumb. Use the tips below to learn more about how to dress your salad the healthy way.delicious sounding salad dressings are temping but come with a price; many are loaded with calories and contain loads of fat. Saturating your meal with such dressings can quickly transform a normally healthy meal into a calorie dense disaster.  Swapping the regular full fat versions for lighter options will decrease your fat and calorie intake but still add plenty of flavor.

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Quick Tips to Make a Healthy Switch

Look at Labels- Choose a dressing that is labeled “light” or “low fat”. These can have half the amount of calories of regular dressing and almost none of the fat. Try low fat raspberry vinaigrette in the dining halls.

Add Fruit- If you’re looking to skip the dressing altogether, add fresh fruit to your salad. The juices will sweeten the greens and the fruit will add nutrients. Try strawberries, oranges or pineapple.

Find the Right Fats- If you crave a creamy addition to your salad, try avocado or hummus. The avocado will add healthy fats while the hummus will make the salad creamy.

Mix Your Own- Oil and vinegar are staples in the dining halls. Try mixing the two yourself to control the amount of oil you are adding to decrease the fat content. You can even squeeze a lemon into your mixture for an added zest.

Don’t be Afraid of Oils- Olive and canola oils contain monounsaturated fats, which are heart healthy. Look for these oils in prepared dressings. They are also available separately in the dining halls.

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Try the Honeymoon Salad: Lettuce Alone With No Dressing

Author: Miranda Schlitt         Reviewed By: Harriet Worobey M.A.  Department of Nutritional Sciences References: Healthy Salads. Accessed on October 8, 2013. Dress Up Your Salad Dressing. Accessed on October 8, 2013.Healthy Fats. Accessed on October 8, 2013.

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