Why You Should Keep Enjoying Full-Fat Ranch Dressing
Let's get one thing straight right out of the gate: Ranch dressing is the best salad dressing. Period. Don't even come at me on social media arguing that balsamic is king, or Ceasar is somehow better (though if you want to discuss all the delicious ways you eat ranch, feel free to tweet me here). And I'm not the only one who thinks this. According to a report by the NPD Group, a consumer market information company, ranch is by far the most popular dressing in America.
Ranch dressing just goes with everything. From salads to chicken, and even pizza crusts, ranch is the ideal sauce for topping and dipping. But, is it healthy to eat ranch at every meal?
OK, surely it's not a great idea to eat ranch on everything. After all, a tablespoon of Hidden Valley Ranch (the best ranch of all) does come with 140 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 240 milligrams of sodium. But, according to one nutritionist a little dip here and a little dollop of ranch there may not be so bad for you after all.
WATCH: Cobb Salad with Barbecue-Ranch Dressing
"What you're mainly looking for in a salad dressing is to add flavor to vegetables," sports dietitian Lori Nedescu, M.S., R.D.N., founder of The Cadence Kitchen and author of the 30-Day Whole Foods Cookbook and Meal Plan, told Runner's World. "So if [ranch or blue cheese] helps you eat those veggies, then go for it."
And, importantly, Nedescu noted that you really should go for the full-fat stuff instead of reduced fat products. As she explained, that's because without a little bit of fat your body can't absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins D, E, and K. Fat, Runners World said, also helps you feel fuller for longer periods of time, which may help you eat less in the long run.
Though we'd love to tell you it's totally acceptable to keep enjoying ranch dressing straight from the bottle it may be best to eat it in moderation. And if you really want your ranch fix, it may even be best to start making it yourself.
"Just start experimenting," Nedescu said. "There are so many different varieties of oils and vinegars—which all help stabilize glucose levels and control hunger levels—and you can blend them with herbs and spices like chipotle or jalapeño."
Spicy ranch? Sounds delicious.