Diabetes and Salad Dressings

Posted: May 2, 2011 by amygilman in Nutrition Q & Amy
Tags: , ,

I am a Nutrition Editor at Foodpicker.org, a website designed to help people with diabetes.  Here is a question I recently received:



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?”


Eating a salad every day (or most) days is a simple and easy food habit to commit to.  They are easy to make and help to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.  Good for you for increasing your salad intake. 

I have a few tricks to try to add flavor to your salad without all of the fat and calories from regular salad dressings.

  • Try making your own dressing:  This recipe is from my friends at CitySprouts.  It is a Tangy Fresh Herb Salad Dressing.  Using fresh herbs you will get bursts of flavor while using herbs that promote good health.  This recipe is only 15 calories per serving and packed with flavor. 

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 TBSP (packed) chopped fresh basil
1 TBSP (packed) chopped fresh chives
1 TBSP (packed) chopped fresh dill
1 TBSP (packed) chopped fresh mint
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and uniform in color. Add salt and pepper.

  • Oil and vinegar:  Mixing oil and vinegar is also a simple solution which won’t give you all of the preservatives that are in a bottled dressing.  There are so many different types of vinegars to choose from (such as balsamic, sherry, champagne, and red wine to name a few).  Alternate vinegars so that you don’t get bored.  You only need a small amount of oil for this dressing.
  • Top with a protein:  On most occasions I will top my salad off with a “runny” protein such as a vegetarian chili in place of a dressing.  Putting a hot food on the salad changes up the texture and adds flavor.  Here are some other options for proteins; chop up a hamburger, ground turkey or chicken and brown rice (or a sweet potato).  Adding hot dishes to your salad will also give you a complete meal (which includes a protein, a starchy carbohydrate, a non-starchy carbohydrate, and some good fat).
  • Pre-made: If you prefer to buy a pre-made dressing from the supermarket, look for dressings with the least amount of ingredients with words that you can pronounce and check the nutrition facts panel.  Usually a “low-fat” dressing will contain more sugar. 

I hope these tips help you in your endeavor to finding the perfect salad dressing!


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