Most bottled salad dressings contain MSG, trans-fatty acids and/or contain lots of sugar, corn syrup or other refined sugars instead, none of which are good for your health.
MSG in Salad Dressings
Store bought salad dressings almost always contain MSG, which is a brain neurotoxin. MSG has not only been shown to cause neurological and other problems, and that is reason enough to stay away from it, but in addition, MSG seems to make you fat! In lab experiments, scientists actually induce obesity in lab animals by feeding them MSG! Almost all processed and packaged foods including salad dressings contain MSG, even if it is not clearly indicated on the label. In fact, salad dressings, soups and sauces often have rather high amounts of it. So check your labels for MSG and monosodium glutamate, as well as natural flavors, textured and hydrolyzed protein, and autolyzed yeast, which almost always contain MSG.
Trans-Fatty Acids in Salad Dressings
Salad dressings that are not fat-free often contain oils that are highly processed and often rancid and sources of trans-fatty acids. Producers can legally say their product contains NO trans fatty acids if the level is below.5 grams per serving, so you can actually consume quite a bit of trans fatty acids over the course of a day with products that supposedly contain no trans fatty acids. Authorities have said that NO level of trans fatty acids is safe! In addition, vegetable oils are well known by researchers to reduce your immune function, so well known that they are given to transplant patients to lower their immune function enough so their body will not reject the foreign organ.
Refined Sugars in Salad Dressings
In addition, store bought salad dressings usually contain refined sweeteners like corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup as well as many other chemicals used as stabilizers, preservatives, artificial colorants, and more. Fat-free dressings are likely to contain far higher amounts of sugar than those with the fats in them. Here are a couple of ingredients labels for two common salad dressings:
Thousand Island Dressing Ingredients: Soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, water, pickle relish, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, dehydrated egg yolk, algin derivative and xanthan gum (for consistency), mustard flour, natural flavors (almost always contains MSG and is far from natural despite the name), dehydrated onion, spice, calcium disodium EDTA (to preserve freshness.)
Ranch Nonfat Dressing (Fat Free & Cholesterol Free) Ingredients: Water, corn syrup, cultured lowfat buttermilk, vinegar, garlic juice, cellulose gel, sugar, salt, skim milk, sour cream (dried), onion (dried), xanthan gum, malto-dextrin, monosodium glutamate with potassium sorbate and calcium disodium EDTA as preservatives, lactic acid, natural flavor (almost always contains MSG), propylene glycol alginate, cultured skim milk (dried), artificial color, phosphoric acid, lemon juice concetntrate, green onion (dried), spice, Dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (synthetic vitamins E)
Homemade Salad Dressings are a More Nutritious Addition to Your Diet
Homemade salad dressings can add many nutrients to your diet such as essential fatty acids, and vitamins and antioxidants in the way of herbs, and the fat in them can actually help your body to absorb the nutrients from your food. We recommend the use real, pure ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed walnut oil and buttermilk for your homemade dressings. Even the much touted canola oil has been shown to have problems — it contributes to vitamin E deficiency and goes rancid easily. This means that it is often deodorized to mask the rancid smell, and this process creates trans fatty acids.
Karen’s French Vinaigrette
1 Clove Garlic (crushed)
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons Miso (optional)
2 Tablespoons Organic Balsalmic Vinegar
1/2 cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mince the garlic in a mini blender, then add the mustard (and optional miso, if using) and vinegar and mix well. Add the olive oil, and mix until creamy smooth. You can add fresh herbs if you have any, and also a little water if it is too thick. Keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Karen’s Homemade Ranch Dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
1 tsp dried dill (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
1 tsp dried chives (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
1/2 tsp dried onion powder
1/2 tsp dried garlic powder (or 1 clove, mashed)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)
Whip all ingredients together and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. If you like your dressing thicker, try using sour cream in place of the buttermilk. If you like it thinner, try 1/2 cup mayo and 3/4 cup buttermilk. Bon Appetit!