When You Eat Too Much Salad Dressing, This Is What Happens

When you go out to lunch with your friends and you want to eat healthily, chances are you'll consider ordering a salad. And you're not alone. According to a YouGov poll, more than eight in 10 Americans state that they either "like" or "love" salads. You're probably one of these people because you've learned that eating a salad doesn't mean that you have to settle for something boring and tasteless. 

Especially these days with so many fast-casual takeout chain restaurants that specialize in "make your own" salads, salads have literally become "designer" food. They can be fun and creative, providing more options than most other kinds of meals because you can personalize them with innovative ingredients and toppings — including your choice of salad dressing. 

And this is where you need to be careful. Because when you pour that heaping amount of heaven over your leafy masterpiece, along with the deliciousness that's about to permeate every forkful, some problems are also seeping in (via Eat This, Not That!).

Stop the salad dressing sabotage

Adding dressings and sauces to salads is not a new practice. In fact, it's been around for thousands of years and part of a wide variety of ancient cultures (via What's Cooking America). However, eating too much of certain kinds of dressings not only mitigates the nutritional benefits of the salad — but could also be detrimental to your health.

For example, if you're a fan of creamy salad dressings like French or ranch (and who isn't) these have the potential to be very high in fat. Over time, these kinds of salad dressings can be bad for your heart. According to Huffington Post, nutritionists ranked French and ranch as some of the unhealthiest dressings due to their high sodium and fat. But even if you choose a healthier or lighter dressing, coating your salad with these will add more calories than you may think. And this defeats the purpose of getting that healthy salad in the first place (via Intermountain Healthcare).

But don't worry about throwing the baby out with the salad dressing. You can still enjoy your decadent favorites. Consider getting the dressing on the side. Or if you must have dressing tossed in your salad, ask for a small amount tossed in so you have that nice baseline coating, and also ask for added dressing on the side that you can add as needed. And if you only like creamy dressings instead of healthier options like olive oil, consider trying creamy alternatives made with healthy fats. Sorry, mayonnaise is not a healthy fat, but yogurt makes a super substitute.