Healthy Salad Dressings in Seven Varieties

Traditional salad dressings, especially the creamy types such as ranch, french, and thousand island, are full of fat, cholesterol from eggs, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and even some sugar. Healthier versions with less sugar, fat, and calories, have been on the market for several years, but not accessible to average shoppers. Those versions were more prevalent in health food stores, and were more expensive than regular dressings. The “light” versions of dressings still contained cholesterol because they contained eggs. The texture was thinner, and the taste not as satisfying as regular versions. Paying more money for a product that lacks great taste does not make sense to consumers.

The higher pricing, limited accessibility, and sacrifice in taste meant healthier salad dressings were not available to people in a low or moderate income bracket. Families could not afford to purchase healthier foods on a regular basis, even if they were available at the local grocery store. Advances in food technology, increases in independent companies making healthier foods, and the popularity of warehouse food outlets and big chain department stores with grocery sections has changed the supply and demand within the marketplace. Plant-based ingredients have been found and utilized that provide texture and taste to foods. Companies are developing processes and technology that eliminates the need for eggs and animal products in foods. Excess sugar and artificial ingredients are also not necessary in common foods.

Pea protein, for example, is the main ingredient in Hampton Creek Just Thousand dressing. No eggs means no cholesterol. The product is also free of artificial ingredients, gluten, preservatives, and genetically modified organisms. The texture is creamy, the taste is delicious, and the pricing is affordable for families. Manufacturing products with plants as the main ingredients is cheaper, takes up less land, and uses less energy than manufacturing products with animal products and chemicals. In addition to thousand island dressing, other flavors include Italian, ranch, Caesar, “Goddess”, mustard, and balsamic. Alternatives to mayonnaise and eggs are also available in most stores. More products are in development stages from several companies. Other plant-based ingredients, like sorghum, have natural sweetness which eliminates the need for added sugar in dessert mixes, cookie dough, and brownies.