Heart Healthy salads / Complicated Recipes

Heart Healthy salads

Salads make a for any diet — but it’s all too easy to block their nutritional punch by drizzling on the wrong salad dressing. At the same time, to keep you in love with lettuce, you want choices that tantalize your taste buds, says Judy Caplan, RD, author of GoBeFull: Eight Keys to Healthy Living and a dietitian in private practice in Vienna, Va.

Although it’s always an option to whip up healthy dressings at home, it is also easy enough to find a healthy, tasty store-bought kind — if you read nutritional labels carefully. Caplan generally recommends buying dressings with fewer than 45 calories per tablespoon (and measuring your portions carefully), though she'll go above that limit if it's for the right healthy fat. She says it is also equally important to watch out for fat and added sugars — fewer than 5 grams of sugar per serving is best. For a healthy shopping shortcut, pick up one of these eight store-bought dressings.

Wish-Bone Salad Spritzer in Italian Vinaigrette

Serving size: 10 spritzes
10 calories
1 g fat (0 g saturated fat)
100 mg sodium
1 g sugar

If you just want a bit of added flavor on your veggies, a Wish-Bone spritzer might be your best option because you have built-in and few calories, says Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, an instructor at the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in Chicago. There’s no risk of an additional teaspoon or tablespoon “accidentally” sloshing into your diet greens, and though 10 spritzes doesn’t sound like much, it adds plenty of flavor for a small salad.

Wish-Bone Light Italian

Serving size: 2 tbsp
35 calories
2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat)
340 mg sodium
2 g sugar

Dobbins likes this dressing, which is based on a blend of olive and soybean oils, because of its inclusion of for both heart health and taste. “In general, the healthiest choices are oil and vinegar or a light vinaigrette, ” Dobbins says. However, she cautions that it is important to watch your portions because this dressing has a relatively high sodium-per-serving level.

Kraft Fat-Free Catalina

Serving size: 2 tbsp
50 calories
0 g fat (0 g saturated fat)
350 mg sodium
7 g sugar

At 50 calories, this product has less than half the calories of the full-fat variety, yet retains most of the taste. “With Catalina, you can’t usually tell the difference between lite and fat-free, ” Dobbins says, adding that manufacturers know consumers want these products to be flavorful so they have adjusted the recipes accordingly. Catalina dressings in general do have a bit more sugar than other dressings, so don’t forget to pour with some caution.

Annie's Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serving size: 2 tbsp

Ask the Test Kitchen: What are the best brands of fat-free spreads?  — Detroit Free Press
I've had success with these products in heart-healthy recipes for baked goods and sautéed dishes.

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