August 19, 2023

How Many Calories in a Salad With Ranch Dressing?

A salad with ranch dressing can be a low-calorie option, especially if you choose light ingredients and a lower-calorie dressing. However, the caloric count can increase dramatically if you include high-calorie toppings or a heavier ranch dressing full of added fats and sugar.

To keep the calories down, try to choose a nutrient-dense mix of vegetables and protein. For example, this chicken garden salad has a variety of healthy veggies and a lean piece of chicken. This combination of flavors and textures makes this salad satisfying and filling.

You should also opt for a low-fat, reduced-sodium salad dressing. "Aim for a dressing with less than 45 calories per tablespoon (tbsp) of fat and fewer than 5 grams of sugar, at most," says registered dietitian Kelsey Lorencz. If you prefer a creamy dressing, opt for a homemade version rather than a store-bought one to avoid added sugar and saturated fats.

To make a salad into a complete meal, consider adding a healthy protein source such as low-fat cheese or a hard-boiled egg. The Mayo Clinic recommends these proteins to help you feel full and satisfied after eating a salad. They also provide fiber and key nutrients like folate and vitamin K. A 2-ounce serving of low-fat cheese provides about 78 calories and a 3-ounce portion of cooked eggs has 100 calories. Both are excellent sources of the mineral iron.


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