Salad dressing is one of the top condiments that prevent you from reaching your weight loss or health goals depending on what’s in it. Many salad dressings on the market contain unhealthy oils, sugar, preservatives, and high levels of sodium—most all of which can stall weight loss goals and even harm your health. This includes many vegan, organic, gluten-free, and “natural” options.
The bottom line is that food marketing means nothing when it comes to packaged foods, and salad dressing is of the hardest condiments to find a healthy alternative in.
Skip the Bottled Dressing and Go for a Healthier Choice: Apple Cider Vinegar
When it comes to selecting a healthy salad dressing, it’s actually much easier to skip the bottled versions and make your own instead. The good news? You only need one main ingredient with a few other optional additions.
What is the magic ingredient? Apple cider vinegar!
You may have heard that apple cider vinegar is great for weight loss, digestion, and alkalizing the body due to the way it reduces inflammation and improves digestion and blood sugar levels. You can take advantage of apple cider vinegar’s health benefits by using it as your main option for salad dressings or use it as a base for a homemade dressing.
Apple cider vinegar is great to use as a salad dressing ingredient because it’s packed with enzymes and prebiotic properties that can help you digest your food more efficiently and more easily. It may even help you extract more nutrients from your food because of the way it enhances the digestion of protein and carbohydrates, helping your body digest these macronutrients more efficiently.
Apple cider vinegar is also delicious and tangy! It makes a great option for salad dressings over regular vinegar because it contains more beneficial properties.
Flavor Options for Using Apple Cider Vinegar in a Homemade Dressing:
You can either drizzle apple cider vinegar over your salads or you can pair it with any of the following options:
- A touch of olive oil
You can also use apple cider vinegar in your own homemade condiment recipes—not just salad dressing. For instance, use it in place of distilled vinegar when you make salsa. It provides a nice, zingy flavor and extra prebiotics that boost gut health (which other types of vinegar don’t contain).
Why Apple Cider Vinegar Stands Out Above Other Vinegar Options:
Apple cider vinegar is also free of any sugar unlike some types of vinegar, such as balsamic vinegar. It has been especially helpful at reducing blood sugar swings which can benefit you when you eat salad at the beginning of the meal. The better your blood sugar during meal time, the better your insulin levels will work more efficiently, helping you to use your nutrients for fuel, not store them as excess weight due to erratic insulin levels.
Since insulin is your fat-storing hormone directly affected by blood sugar levels, it’s pivotal you eat in a way that balances insulin levels to prevent type 2 diabetes from insulin resistance. Insulin spikes every time we eat, but depending on what we choose to eat will determine how our insulin levels work for the rest of our mealtime and after.
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to improve blood sugar levels during mealtime as well as digestion and cholesterol levels. Pairing it with protein, fiber, and whole foods will also be more beneficial than eating lots of sugar and processed foods.
Tips for Buying Apple Cider Vinegar:
Look for brands of organic apple cider vinegar with “the mother” which is the beneficial yeast organism that the apples feed on which helps create the vinegar. Just shake the bottle before each use to distribute the cloudiness that can settle at the bottom.
Other types of vinegar (such as distilled, rice, white whine, balsamic, and red wine) have no prebiotic or probiotic properties. Beneficial, fermented apple cider vinegar should be raw, organic, and always contain “the mother” culture.
Raw coconut vinegar is the only other vinegar option even comparable to apple cider vinegar in terms of benefits, but it doesn’t have quite the same amount researched benefits that apple cider vinegar does for blood sugar, digestion, and overall health.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar as Your Salad Dressing:
Try mixing a little apple cider with the juice of one lemon and some black pepper on your next salad for a sugar-free option that benefits your blood sugar and digestion. You can also use this over raw or roasted veggies, or even use it as a marinade for your choice of protein, such as fish.
Remember, apple cider vinegar is not a magic ticket to lifelong weight loss or perfect health, but it certainly is a wonderful replacement to shelf-stable dressings. You can use this superfood as your main salad dressing which may help you lose weight overtime just by cutting out the processed options. It doesn’t hurt that it makes your salads taste great too!
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