Spring is prime time for salads, especially when you’re growing organic greens in your own backyard garden—doesn’t get much more natural than that! But once you bring a store-bought bottle of salad dressing into the equation, everything changes. “Salad dressings can be a minefield for consumers looking for something healthy to top off their salad,” says author and former food-industry exec Bruce Bradley. “Unfortunately, processed-food companies have to use their whole arsenal of fats, salts, sugars, fake flavors, and colors to make store-bought salad dressings have appeal.”
1. It's loaded with untested Franken-ingredients.
Eyeball any salad-dressing label, and oil is one of the top ingredients. Unfortunately, the bulk of oils used in nonorganic salad dressings today come from genetically engineered soy or canola, crops that have never been tested for their impact on human health. These crops are grown using massive amounts of pesticides, which can wind up inside of the food, too.
Try this instead: Opt for organic when you’'re buying dressing at the supermarket. When making your own dressing mix, reach for heart-healthy organic extra-virgin olive oil. Its fat profile is more favorable than other common salad oils. To find high-quality organic extra-virgin olive oil, look for one packaged in a dark bottle and that lists a “best by” date or date of harvest. As a general rule, opt for oils harvested in the current year and a “best by” date that is at least 2 years away.
Read More: This Could Be the End of Healthy Food