FOODPICKER.org Question of the week – Subject: salad dressing?

Message from Christine: Here are some worldwide diabetes statistics that are staggering:

  • In 1985, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated 30 million people had diabetes worldwide.
  • Today, it is estimated 285 million people have diabetes worldwide.
  • The IDF is now predicting that by 2030 the total number of those with diabetes will grow to 435 million!

Diabetes is a global health issue.  The need for prevention and intervention by health care professionals can help to reduce the projected numbers for 2030.  You can learn more about the IDF worldwide estimates by visiting: International Diabetes Foundation

Christine Carlson, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE
FOODPICKER.org, Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator

From: Tom G. (e-mail not disclosed for privacy)
To: diabetes@foodpicker.org
Date: 5/2/2011
Subject: salad dressing? I’ve been trying to increase my salad intake and am not sure about what type of dressing to choose.  Could you give me some suggestions for salad dressings that are acceptable for someone with diabetes?

What salad dressing to use is a great question!!!

First off you want to double-check ingredients list and the food label for serving size, carbohydrate and sugar content especially if you monitor your carbohydrate intake for your meals and snacks.  It does come down to reading to food labels when you are buying from the store.  I would avoid salad dressing that has sugar, salt, corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup in the first 3 ingredient.  This is very common in low-fat and fat-free salad dressings.  If you are shopping and discover that your choice may not be the best option after reading the food label, stick to the regular dressing, and if it contains more fat, salt or sugar, just use less of it.

For example: Kraft Zesty Italian Free

KRAFT SALAD DRESSING – SALAD DRESSING – FREE ITALIAN

Ingredients: WATER, VINEGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SALT, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OFPARMESAN CHEESE* (PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), GARLIC, ONION JUICE, WHEY, PHOSPHORIC ACID, XANTHAN GUM, POTASSIUM SORBATE AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA AS PRESERVATIVES, YEAST EXTRACT, SPICE, RED BELL PEPPERS*, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, GARLIC*, BUTTERMILK*, CARAMEL COLOR, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, ENZYMES, OLEORESIN PAPRIKA. *DRIED.

  • Nutrition Facts
  • Serving Size
  • 2tbs
  • Servings per Container about
  • 16
  • Amount Per Serving
Calories 20 Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value*
  •    Trans Fat 0g 0 %
  •    Monounsaturated Fat 0g 0 %
  •  Protein 0g
    •  Vitamin A
    • 0 %
    •  Vitamin C
    • 0 %
    •  Iron
    • 0 %

    Nutrition Facts

Salad dressings may also have high fat content.  Remember portion control is important.  It is great that you are choosing to eat more salad, as adding fruits and vegetables are a great way to add additional vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber into our diets.  Just remember that portion control and the types of extra food that we may add to our salads such as croutons, meat or cheese, olives and avocados, etc. add calories.

From a dietitians standpoint, I would recommend using balsamic vinegar & olive oil vinaigrette.  If you’re not a fan, be creative.  Find an oil you really like the flavor of and mix that with a red wine vinegar and a packet of seasoning, such as McCormick or even your favorite spice mix.  I prefer salad dressing that you can make from home.  Avoid the cream dressing which may add more calories, however if that is your favorite, try making them at home. Use fat-free sour cream or fat-free plain yogurt and adding ranch packets from Hidden Valley to it.  Remember it is very important to monitor portion control and check ingredients on the packets as they may have added sugars, starch and fats added.

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