Nutritional Value of Ranch Dressing
Ranch dressing is frequently used as a salad topping, condiment and flavor enhancer in a variety of foods. It is one of the most common salad dressings available on restaurant menus along with caesar, thousand island and Italian. Its ingredients commonly include buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, green onion, parsley and garlic and onion powder. Variations on ranch dressing include bacon, honey mustard, cucumber, dill, and southwest, just to name a few.
One tablespoon of a typical ranch dressing contains 71 calories and 1/4 cup contains 286 calories on average. The caloric contribution from ranch dressing adds up quickly if portions are not carefully monitored.
All the nutritional values for calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium that are presented in this article were obtained from www.mypyramidtracker.gov.
One tablespoon of ranch dressing contains 7.7 grams of total fat and 1.1 g of saturated fat, which means that a total of 89 percent of the calories in a typical ranch dressing mix come from fat. One-quarter cup of ranch dressing contains 31 g of fat and 4.5 g of saturated fat. Current recommendations suggest consuming no more than 20 to 35 percent of total calories from fat and 10 percent of total calories from saturated fat. When total fat and saturated fat exceed these levels on a regular basis they increase health risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers.
The contributions that other nutrients such as calcium, vitamin A and C, iron and B vitamins make to the ranch dressing is negligible. One tablespoon of ranch dressing does contain 173 milligrams of sodium and 1/4 cup of ranch dressing contains 693 mg. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily.
One tablespoon of reduced fat ranch dressing contains 24 calories, 2.1 g of fat, and 0.3 g of saturated fat and 153 mg of sodium. One-quarter cup of reduced ranch dressing contains 96 calories, 8.6 g of fat, and 1.3 g of saturated fat and 626 mg of sodium. One tablespoon of fat free ranch dressing contains 18 calories, 0.4 g of fat, and 0.1 g of saturated fat and 165 mg of sodium. One-quarter cup of reduced ranch dressing contains 71 calories, 1.8 g of fat, and 0.3 g of saturated fat and 660 mg of sodium.
Comparing ranch dressing food labels and making informed selections can benefit your heart and your waistline. Selecting a reduced or fat free version of this popular flavor can greatly cut back on the amount of empty calories this dressing or condiment contributes. A wide variety of brands exist so finding a flavor that is tasty should not be a deterrent. Portion sizes are critical when it comes to fat so measure individuals should know their measurements. One tablespoon is equal to the size of a thumb tip and 1/4 cup is equal to the size of golf ball. It is important for people to understand that the sodium content of ranch dressing remains unchanged despite the reduction in calories, fat and saturated fat.