Being on a low carb diet can be very limiting in terms of the salad dressing options. The dressings available today don’t always seem to be friendly to people who want to check what they eat. However, there are still terrific options available if you’re on a low carb diet.
Here are some of the best salad dressing for low carb diet you should definitely try.
Choosing a Low-Carb Salad Dressing
Most salads require some form of oil to be added to make them more palatable. If you must add some oil, go for those low in omega-6 and high in monounsaturated fats.
Olive oil would be your best bet in this option. Combine it with vinegar or lemon juice, and you’ll have the best salad dressing. Other quality oils to use are canola oil which contains 59% monounsaturated fat.
You can also use oil made from soybeans, which happens to be the most commonly used. It’s also affordable and contains only 23% monounsaturated fat and 51% omega-6.
Some commercial salad dressings only have essential ingredients and salt and spices added to them for flavoring. This is unlike most others that contain added sugars and starch. In general, salads that don’t have a sweet taste are better choices. For example, blue cheese and Caesar are probably much better low-carb salad dressings than honey mustard or thousand islands.
When shopping for salad dressing, be on the lookout for those advertised as low-fat. Most of them tend to have added sweeteners to boost their flavor. Ensure you also read the ingredients label and carbohydrate count.
You can tell if the dressing has added sugars if the ingredients list contains honey, fruit, corn syrup, juice concentrate, or fructose. These are just names used to conceal sugars. If they must have sugar, it should at least be listed towards the end of the list.
This is an indication that the sugar is in small quantities. Note that ingredients are often listed in the order of the amount in the product.
Apart from sugar that hides under different names, some other suspects also come disguised. These include carbohydrates and starches. Starches usually creep into ingredients, not necessarily for taste but texture.
They’re added to make the consistency of the dressing better or to add to the shelf life. Check to see if the ingredients contain gums, flours, or fibers like inulin.
Making Your Own Salad Dressing
Instead of buying commercially-made salad dressings, making them at home provides you with diverse options. You can combine an acid, oil, some herbs, and spices. For an all-purpose dressing, use some red-wine vinegar and blend it with olive oil, black pepper, salt, and chopped shallots.
If you wish to substitute the vinegar, go for lemon or lime juice. They stand-in for the acid ingredient of your salad dressing. Tangy lemon vinaigrette is the best dressing for bitter greens like arugula.
For this, you’ll need some lemon juice, thyme leaves, walnut oil, black pepper, and salt. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper to dress your salad. Add some chopped garlic for some added taste.
Here are a few recipes for some healthy salad dressings you can make at home.
1. Keto Italian Vinaigrette
The Keto diet is a low-fat and low-carb diet that comes with many amazing recipes. You can’t go wrong with this Keto recipe for the best salad dressing. It works well with all salad greens, and the ingredients are all locally available.
- 1 cup light olive oil
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper grounded
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Put all the ingredients in a dressing container
- Cover with a lid and shake vigorously
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes for the flavors to set in
- Use or store in the fridge for up to 7 days
This salad dressing provides 198 calories per 2-tablespoon serving and 22 grams of fat. The cards are minimal, and the proteins less than 1 gram.
2. Homestyle Ranch
Traditionally, ranch dressing is made with buttermilk. You can twist it a little bit for more creativity. Swap the buttermilk for mayo, sour cream, or heavy cream. They all provide the same flavor profile but have reduced carbs.
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayo
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp of chopped chives
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 to 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl with a lid
- Mix thoroughly
- Refrigerate and serve chilled
The dressing provides 84 calories, 8 grams fat, 2 grams carbs and 1 gram protein per 2-tablespoon serving.
3. Keto Caesar Dressing
This is a salad dressing you can get together in less than five minutes. All you need is to toss some salad greens and top with shreds of parmesan cheese for minimal carbs.
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 ½ tsp anchovy paste
- 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ cup mayo
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk together.
- Put the mayo in the mixture and continue whisking until thoroughly combined
- Add salt and pepper to taste
Each tablespoon serving contains 100 calories, 10 grams fat, minimal carbs, and less than 1 gram protein.
4. Wasabi- Cucumber-Avocado Dressing
This dressing can be paired with fresh vegetables at any time of the year for the best low-carb option. You can adjust the wasabi powder to achieve the taste you desire.
- 1 avocado
- 2 to 4 stalks of green onion
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp rice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp wasabi powder
- ½ cucumber finely chopped
- Juice squeezed from ½ lime
Mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse to smoothness.
A 2-tablespoon serving provides 75 calories, 7 grams fat, minimal carbs, and 1 gram protein.
When you’re on a low-fat diet, you also need to think about the salad dressings you use. They’re culprits for making you consume fats, starches, and oils you didn’t intend to eat. Yet, finding a tasty low-carb salad dressing that goes beyond plain oil and vinegar can be tricky.
A few options to try out include the wasabi-cucumber-avocado dressing, keto Italian vinaigrette, and Keto Ceasar dressing. Since they’re home-made, you can use low-fat and low-carb ingredients to make the best salad dressing for low carb diet.