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Healthy Eating Tip: Handle the Ladle With Care

Salad greens count as a superfood in my book, but salad dressings . . . not so much. The salad bar dressings we ladle on those greens are certainly tasty, but all that taste often comes at a high-caloric price. Cutting back on the dressing is important if you are also cutting back on calories.

Next time you visit a salad bar, pay attention to the size of the ladle, since they can vary widely and could hold anywhere from two to six tablespoons.The most common ladle size holds four tablespoons of dressing, which is equal to two standard servings, as listed on the food labels of salad dressing bottles (here's a salad dressing breakdown).

Lift the ladle out of the dressing and size it up before you fill it with dressing. A ladle the size of a ping-pong ball or a short shot glass will give you two tablespoons. If it’s bigger than that, make sure you only fill the ladle halfway before dressing your salad.


Join The Conversation
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
I never add dressing at the salad bar. I usually put a little bit of predressed ceasar on my plate and then mound a pile of lettuce and other veggies on top. Usually hubby does the same thing...but then douses the whole thing in 1000 island dressing. Oy.
uaintkidin uaintkidin 8 years
I also use the straight vinegars provided Weighting Game! If it is on the salad bar, I also use a bit of cottage cheese to mix with the greens like a dressing instead of just eating it on the side. I consider it an ok because of the calcium (& protein?) included in the cottage cheese. I know the cottage cheese may be full fat but considered that better than the blue cheese dressing that I love!
WeightingGame WeightingGame 8 years
this is why I stick with straight balsamic vinegar or salsa - super-flavorful but harldy any calories to fret over.
luiyuming luiyuming 8 years
I totally agree that salad dressing should come as on-the-side bowls or cups where you can choose to dip or drizzle. I prefer very little or no dressing with my salads because these evil sauces have high sugar content!
Rose-Cullen Rose-Cullen 8 years
that's good to know despite the fact that I don't like dressing because it makes my salad sooo soggy (gross). I prefer the cripness of the lettuce and other vegetables.:)
mod16 mod16 8 years
personally i don't like a lot of salad dressing on my salads. i put one small dollop of dressing and that is satisfying enough
Spectra Spectra 8 years
OK, so maybe I'm a little OCD about this, but I don't trust salad dressings at salad bars because I'm afraid that the dressing that's labeled "low calorie" is really a different kind with more calories. So I buy those individual packets of fat free salad dressings at the store and tuck them into my purse and bring them in to buffets.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 8 years
This taco joint by my house has little cups for taking the hot sauce to go in. I take a few empties and keep at home. Then, when I know I'm going out someplace where I know they have a salad bar I take my little empty cups with me. That way I can put my dressing on the side and do the fork dip. Personally, I think they should provide little 'on the side' cups at all salad bars since this is a trend that folks are jumping on.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 8 years
boy.. if i had a dollar each time i saw someone who i presume is trying to eat healthy, yet ruins it by dressing their salad.. probably better off eating that burger.. i like to make my own dressing.. one simple favorite is extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, lemon juice. but there are other variations one can make at home, and they are simple. i'd say add salt too, but i'm trying to cut down on salt, since i was horrified to find out how much salt i consume in a day! :( the url below is my new resource for food
Avocado Dressing Recipes
The Best Salad Dressing Recipe Ever
Where You Can Buy a Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Fountain
Cranberry Dressing Recipe
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