Yep, salad dressings with fat are better than the no-fat versions touted as so essential for good health. Once again, I am vindicated for my choices in what I eat. A recent study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, a peer reviewed journal, found that no-fat and low-fat dressings are not able to extract as many nutrients out of salad ingredients as their full-fat counterparts. This actually makes sense as many of those nutrients are fat-soluble, meaning , of course, that if there is no fat, there is less extraction of said nutrients.
Plus, I don’t think I have ever had a no-fat salad dressing substitute for a full-fat version that was fit to eat. And, even though any commercial dressing is going to be full of chemicals (even if companies like Kraft try to call them natural), no-fat and low-fat dressings have more nastiness in this regard.
And salad dressings are really easy to make from scratch, so you really have no excuse to buy the processed stuff, anyway. Bottom line is, if you want a no-fat or low-fat dressing for calorie purposes, make a vinegar based dressing yourself. Just realize you are cheating yourself out of a lot of the reasons people eat salads in the first place. If you want the full nutrient value of the veggies in your salad, make your own dressing with olive oil.
A very basic dressing starts with just vinegar and olive oil. You can use whatever vinegar you like, from red wine to balsamic to apple cider to rice wine to malt vinegars and everthing in between. To that base, add spices and other ingredients you want to make the dressing.
Basic North American Italian dressing
Note: this is not a traditional American Italian dressing as it has no sugar. It is not really an Italian Italian dressing as it has more spices. In Italy, a typical salad has oil and vinegar poured over the salad and some salt and black pepper grated on. That, by itself, is excellent. My recipe calls for fresh ingredients, so it needs to sit before use. If you need it now, use powdered garlic and onion and dried herbs.
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh Italian (flat) parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
Crush garlic cloves with flat of knife, peel, and finely mince. Peel and finely mince the onion. Place the garlic and onion, along with all the other ingredients, into a decanter. Shake thoroughly and taste. Adjust salt to taste. Leave to sit overnight before use to infuse the flavors into the oil/vinegar mis. Shake before use.