What Salad Dressing Is Good For High Cholesterol?

If your doctor has told you that your cholesterol is too high and you need to lower it, you may have questions about what you can eat. 

Salads are a great way to help lower your cholesterol. They have lots of vegetables and legumes like chickpeas and can be spruced up with a sprinkling of low-cholesterol nuts and seeds. The fiber content of salads is one of the main reasons they can lower your cholesterol. 

Salads are naturally flavorsome because of the possibilities of combinations of ingredients. However, another way to add some flavor to your salads is to use a variety of healthy salad dressings.

Salad dressings provide flavor and excitement to salad, but they can take your food from healthy to unhealthy if you don’t choose them carefully. 

Some salad dressings are high in saturated fats, which should be avoided. However, the wide variety of salads and salad dressings makes it easy to find something that suits your palate and helps lower your cholesterol simultaneously.

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Using salad dressing when watching your cholesterol

The key to using a salad dressing to add flavor to your food while keeping it healthy is to be aware of its ingredients.

The two most common types of salad dressings are cream-based salad dressings and vinaigrette-based salad dressings. 

Cream-based salad dressings use milk, sour cream, or mayonnaise as the base. Vinaigrette-based salad dressings use a combination of oils and vinegar to bring you the flavor. Both types of salad dressing can be healthy, but each can contain things to avoid.

Cream-based salad dressings use dairy or eggs as their base. For some people, these foods are not always preferable to limit cholesterol intake. 

Dressings like Thousand Island and ranch are cream-based and may be high in cholesterol. Using avocado is a great way to have a creamy salad dressing without the saturated fats derived from animal products.

Vinaigrette-based salad dressings use vinegar and oils. Vinegar is generally fine when trying to lower your cholesterol, but the type and quantity of oil are crucial. 

While vinaigrettes don’t have a high-cholesterol content, they may use oils high in saturated fats, which should be avoided if your cholesterol is high.

Another ingredient that may cause cholesterol problems is excessive sugar. Sweet dressings are likely to contain more sugar than you should consume, so do not forget to read the product label before you buy.

The best healthy salad dressing brands

These brand-name salad dressings are great options for bringing flavor to your salad without excessive saturated fat, sugar, or cream. 

  • Bolthouse Farms

  • Chunky Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing

  • Organic Girl Avocado Cilantro Vegan Vinaigrette

  • Bragg Vinaigrette

  • Primal Kitchen Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette & Marinade

  • Annie’s Organic Red Wine & Olive Oil Vinaigrette

Another option is to find your favorite salad dressing and look for healthier low-fat alternatives.

Make your own salad dressing

Making it yourself is a great way to ensure your salad dressing won’t increase your cholesterol level. Here are some suggestions.

Primal kitchen dreamy Italian dressing

This salad dressing is a fan favorite. In a jar or a shaker, combine the following:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons of low-cholesterol oil like avocado oil

  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 3 teaspoons dried basil

  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme 

Shake until everything is mixed. Drizzle over your salad and enjoy.

Balsamic vinaigrette

Balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing brings a classic punchy flavor to your salad. 

Mix the following ingredients:

  • 1 small garlic clove (grated)

  • 1/3 cup of avocado oil

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

  • ½ teaspoon of honey or maple syrup

  • ½ teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and drizzle on salad.

Avocado lime

This dressing is creamy and tastes divine. Here are the ingredients: 

  • 1 medium avocado

  • 3 tablespoons of avocado oil

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

  • ½ teaspoon minced shallot or garlic

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • A pinch of salt to taste 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, mashing the avocado until it’s smooth and creamy. This dressing goes great with roasted sesame seeds or sunflower seeds.

Lemon vinaigrette

A simple classic, lemon vinaigrette is an excellent choice for managing elevated cholesterol levels. 

Mix the following ingredients:

  • 1 small garlic clove (grated)

  • 1/3 cup of avocado oil

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

  • ½ teaspoon of honey or maple syrup

  • ½ a teaspoon fresh or dried thyme

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Simply whisk it all together and drizzle over your favorite salad in moderation. 

How else can you make your salad cholesterol-friendly?

When making a salad, you can keep it cholesterol-friendly by sticking to a few rules.

Don’t use salad dressings with lots of saturated fats.

Read the nutrition label to see the fat content. Try to stick to ones that are low in saturated fat. 

Avoid overly sweet and creamy dressings.

Very sweet salad dressings are likely to have processed sugars in them to get the sweet flavor. Look for dressings with “low sugar” on the label or check the ingredients to judge for yourself how much sugar is present.

Get flavor from healthy ingredients instead of a dressing.

You can bring excitement to your salad by adding flavorful ingredients like diced garlic, chives, basil, or parsley leaves or by adding tasty fruits like strawberries or raspberries. 

Use spices in your salad dressings, such as basil, paprika, or turmeric.

Just because you need your salad to help with keeping your cholesterol low doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. Spices, healthy oils, and fresh vinegar can all help bring flavor to what might otherwise be a rather bland dish. 

You can also use roasted nuts, seeds, or legumes like chickpeas, to bring some crunch and flavor to your salad.

The lowdown

Salad dressings make your salad come alive. There are several ways to limit the cholesterol content while enjoying a tasty salad. Avoid ingredients like saturated fats, creams, or lots of sugar. 

By keeping your health in mind when using salad dressings, you can enjoy your meal without worrying about your cholesterol levels.

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We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Cholesterol, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

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