Call it new technology or just common sense, but things change in the food and nutrition world. Many decades ago, I was taught that low-fat food items were the healthiest, especially for cardiac health. The numbers of people dealing with diabetes is rising. Cardiac issues are the highest risk for those with a diabetes diagnosis. In the past, strict low fat dining was the way to go.
New research has now revealed that healthy fats exist. Egg intake is encouraged, instead of discouraged. Nuts and fatty fish are gold standards for heart healthy fats to consume.
I used to pride myself for being able go low fat and tolerate eating my salads naked, that is, without salad dressing. In the past, not drenching my greens was the healthiest way to go.
In the past, I secretly loved to dip raw vegetables into a creamy dip knowing full well that I instructed my clients to refrain from this delicious practice. No longer do I need to hide the shapely bottle from those who observe my every bite. Salad dressing now serves a healthy purpose.
Certain nutrients, namely beta carotene and vitamins E and K are fat soluble vitamins. These nutrients are found in many vegetables and need to be covered with fat in order for your body to absorb their goodness. Skip nonfat dressings if beta carotene, vitamins E and K are important to you.
In order to keep a snack as a snack and not a high-calorie meal, look for salad dressings and vegetable dips that are 100 or less calories per serving. Indulging on a high-calorie dip turns a healthy fresh vegetable into a high-calorie crunch. Dips usually range from 30 to 150 calories per serving.
It is hard to find a premade dip or dressing that is yummy and low in salt. Limit the sodium from a serving to 160 mg per serving. Blue cheese dips are notorious for being extremely high in sodium. Limit sodium to control blood pressure.
Speaking of servings, labels state that one serving is usually one tablespoon of dressing or dip. It is hard to measure and limit a dressing or dip if it is not premeasured. Mindlessly dunking raw vegetables and coating them with rich fatty dressing dripping onto the table is bound to lead to consuming more fat calories and sodium than needed. Spoon a small amount onto a plate or bowl, and scrape it clean with raw veggies.
Some dressing or dips contain MSG, monosodium glutamate, and also hydrolyzed soy protein to enhance the flavor. The FDA has deemed MSG as a generally regarded safe food, but some people are sensitive to it. Symptoms like headaches, flushing, and difficulty breathing can occur with some dips. A sensitivity to soy products could produce symptoms after dipping.
Dipping raw vegetables into a creamy dressing or dip can be a healthy habit. Limit the dunks, no double dipping. Thinning the dip with milk or water can decrease the amount that sticks on the vegetable.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Dunlap Community Hospital, Orrville, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected]