Salads are on of the first foods that most people think of when they hear the word ‘diet’ or lifestyle change. Salads can be a good way for you to add beneficial greens (spinach, kale, arugula, swiss chard) to your diet. The primary problem with salads and the low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) lifestyle is not the salad itself, but the dressings that most people put on them. Yes, I know there are some vegetables found in salads are higher in carbohydrates than others, however the one item that increases the carbohydrate count of the salad you are eating is the dressing you use.
According to a survey done by ‘Statista’ in 2014 through 2015, almost 29,000 American households were surveyed to determine the types of salad dressings that Americans consumed. I have listed the top five dressings in their survey. The most obvious was Ranch (47.23%), Italian (18.71%), Thousand Island (14.42%), Vinaigrettes (13.16%), and Caesar (13.02%).
LCHF Thousand Island Dressing (Yield: 20 Tablespoons)
¾ cup homemade LCHF mayonnaise or Hellman’s mayonnaise
¼ cup LCHF ketchup
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
1 large hard-boiled egg, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives (optional)
1 teaspoon pimentos, minced
1 drop of liquid sucralose or 1 teaspoon of other low calorie sweetener (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon white or black pepper
Dice the hard boiled egg into small pieces and then place in a small bowl and mash with a fork into small pieces.
Combine all the ingredients (except the heavy cream) into a medium-sized bowl and mix with a wire whisk until throughly combined. Then add the minced/mashed egg and mix again until throughly combined.
Check the seasonings and adjust the salt, pepper, and sucralose to meet your individual tastes. Place the dressing in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours before serving. The dressing is good for 7 – 10 days depending on the ingredients that you used to make it.
Chef’s Note: In the restaurant we would run the egg through a food mill or ricer. If you have a ricer or food mill you could run the egg through one of these, but for home use I feel the clean up is not worth the trouble. An alternative would be to press the egg through a strainer or fine sieve, but I like my dressing to have small chunks of egg in it. The choice is of course up to you.
Total Recipe – Calories 1352, fat 142 grams, protein 8.53 grams, carbohydrates 10.7 grams
Per Tablespoon – Calories 67.6, fat 7.1 grams, protein 0.4, carbohydrates 0.53 grams
Kraft Thousand Island
Per Tablespoon – Calories 40, fat 3 grams, protein 0, carbohydrates 1.5 grams
The Diabetic Factor
Let’s face it, the primary carbohydrate culprit in Thousand Island dressing as with most dressings and other condiments is sugar. Almost always high fructose corn sugar to be specific. This is a problem for those of us who are diabetic. Now if you only used 1 – 2 tablespoons of a commercially prepared Thousand Island dressing then you would only be consuming an additional 1.5 – 3 grams of carbohydrates with your salad. But don’t kid yourself, most people put ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) or more of dressing on their salad just because they are not good at judging volume.
By eliminating the high fructose corn sugars found in ketchup by making your own LCHF ketchup you can reduce the overall carbohydrate count of Thousand Island dressing to 0.6 grams per tablespoon. That’s a 60% reduction in the number of carbohydrates per tablespoon of dressing. So if you put a little extra dressing on your salad, say 3 tablespoons you are only adding 1.8 grams of carbohydrates. Almost the same amount of carbohydrates as in 1 tablespoon of Kraft Thousand Island Dressing.
So why go to all the trouble of making your own version of Thousand Island dressing? I mean the commercial prepared dressings are convenient to use, and they taste good. Other than the carbohydrate count, the major concern for me is the ingredients that makeup most commercial dressings. Let’s face it, Kraft Thousand Island dressing has way to many preservatives and artificial flavorings. Yes, commercial dressings are shelf stable and will last for quite some time in your pantry, but at what cost? Making your own Thousand Island dressing gives you total control of what you consume. So let’s examine the ingredients in both dressings.
Kraft Thousand Island Dressing – Soybean oil, tomato puree (tomato paste, water) vinegar, sugar, water, chopped pickles, egg yolks, salt, natural flavors, contains 2% or less of the following (mustard flour, dried onions, xanthan gum, dried red bell peppers, citric acid, paprika, turmeric, potassium sorbate, calcium disodium EDTA).
Homemade Thousand Island Dressing – LCHF Mayonnaise, heavy whipping cream, vinegar, chives, chopped pickles, chopped pimentos, onions, salt, eggs (including yolks), sucralose, white pepper, and paprika.
I know which dressing I would rather feed to my family. Anyway, just in case you want to experiment with some additional ingredients or change up the ratios, I have included the basic nutritional information for all the ingredients that are or can be used to make your own LCHF Thousand Island dressing
Hellman’s Mayonnaise (1 Cup) – Calories 960, protein 0, fat 160, carbs 0 grams
Per Tablespoon – Calories 90, protein 0, fat 10 grams, carbs 0 grams
LCHF Mayonnaise (1 Cup) – Calories 1633, protein 2.2 grams, fat 183 grams, carbohydrates 1.1 grams
Per Tablespoon – Calories 102, protein 0.14 grams, fat 11.4 grams, carbs 0.06 grams
1 Cup – Calories 97, fat 0 grams, protein 2.1 grams, 16 carbohydrates
Per Tablespoon – Calories 6, fat 0 grams, protein 0.13 grams, carbs 1 gram
Dill Pickle Relish
Per Tablespoon – Calories 0, fat 0, protein 0, carbohydrates 0.1 grams
Sweet Pickle Relish
Per Tablespoon – Calories 10, fat 0, protein 0, carbohydrates 3 grams
In my earlier articles ‘Making Your Own LCHF Condiments’ and ‘Vinaigrettes, The Original No Carb Dressings’ I talked about how hidden carbohydrates can really derail your low carbohydrate lifestyle. This is especially true if you are trying to keep your body in a state of ketosis so that your body burns fat rather than carbohydrates. The use of salad dressings is one of those items that can jump up and totally derail your low carb lifestyle if you are not careful. One of the best ways to eliminate this threat to your dietary regimen is to make your own low carbohydrate salad dressings.
Let’s be honest, salads are one of the first items that most people who begin on a diet or lifestyle change add to their eating plan. And while the addition of a good salad with lot’s of beneficial greens can be a stabilizing factor in a person’s dietary changes, all these benefits can be eliminated with the overuse of high carbohydrate salad dressings. If you really want to be successful with your low carbohydrate lifestyle and you enjoy eating salads, then I encourage you to experiment and make your own LCHF salad dressings. As always, we ask that if you have found this article to be interesting and of use to please share it with your friends. Don’t forget to send us a friend request on Facebook, or add us to your circle on Google+ so that you will be notified when new articles have been posted to our blog.
U.S. Households: Which Flavors Of Prepared Salad Dressing Do You Use Most Often? Statista: The Statistics Portal, accessed October 10, 2016.
Kraft Foods: Thousand Island Dressing