Honestly, I have to agree with several of the others. 4 tablespoons of olive oil a day is a LOT. Yes, they are good fats, but you can overdo it even on a good thing.
If you're eating around 1600 calories a day, then you'd be getting almost a third of your total caloric intake from JUST oil. That is simply too much, in my opinion, unless *maybe* the rest of your intake is completely 100% fat free. If you were eating more like 2500-3000 calories per day, that quantity of oil would be a little more realistically incorporated into your overall intake and ratios, and would allow you a lot more freedom in your food choices. At a goal of 1500, I'd cut that olive oil consumption in half, at least.
But yes, adding more liquid to your dressing can help you reduce the amount of oil you use. Just try using a little more balsamic vinegar, citrus juice or water, and a little less oil. The taste will be similar (even better) without all the calories and fat.
I would pick olive oil over fat free dressing any day. I too eat olive oil on my salads. I just track it in my calories. So as long as you stay in calorie range..Whole foods is ALWAYS better than processed food!
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I love olive oil on salads as well, but usually use only a teaspoon or 1/2 Tbsp and then use a yummy balsamic.
A really good lowfat dressing that doesn't have the lowfat/diet funk to it is Annie's Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette. Two tablespoons has only 40 calories and 3 grams of fat.
Annie's lite Gingerly Vinaigrette is also good and doesn't taste diet - same cals/fat as the raspberry.
I've also tried Annie's other "lite" dressing - the honey mustard vinaigrette - but to me it has that strange diet taste.
It really depends on the person... but 4 tbs of olive oil is alot... thats approx 500 calories... thats just way to much... if u want to be losing weight.
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I used to do 2 Tbsp olive oil (or sunflower oil, or sesame oil) on my salads as well, but with 3 salads a day that really put me over my fat percentage and calorie target.
So I do 1 Tbsp oil per salad, but I still do 2 Tbsp vinegar or equivalent. (Usually I use lemon or lime juice, occasionally an aged balsalmic vinegar.)
I really prefer to make my own salad dressings too, with different oils, citrus juices, and spices. I tend to make "themed" salad, for instance a Mexican salad with romaine, tomatoes, peppers, onions, maybe some corn or beans, and then lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, and cumin powder.
An Italian salad might be something like baby spinach, tomatoes, basil, sunflower oil, and garlic.
Asian flavoring can be with Chinese Five Spice, wasabi and soy sauce, or a combination with garlic, ginger, and lemon grass. Use sesame oil instead of olive oil, and apple cider vinegar gives it a nice flavor.
Use olives, avocado, nuts and seeds and then reduce your oil.
There are many recipes you can find that you can whisk in a bowl or make in a blender. I usually don't make anything too complicatedd, just put things right on the salad.
Ahhh...thanks for that! I think adding water to the oil and vinegar and making my own dressing instead of just topping the salad will make all the difference. Funny--I love to cook and am pretty good with substitions, but I just wasn't even thinking of salad dressing=cooking.
I have still been losing weight even with this amount of olive oil, but I am curious if my results would be better with less--it is worth experimenting.
OK so 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil spread out through out the entire day is NOT EXCESSIVE!! That is actually what is recommended with the Mediterranean diet. Well four servings of MUFA's per day ie. 4TBSP olive oil.
As for an alternative salad dressing...I've got one here:
2 TBSP water (or 1/2 water 1/2 citrus juice) 1.5 TBSP good vinegar (balsamic works too) 1 TBSP oil 1 TBSP honey 2 tsp dijon mustard 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Put all together and whisk/shake/stir. Pour on salad and toss. This is for four servings but you can use what you want. Also you can cut out some of the water if it is too runny for your taste.
For any oil based dressing if you sub some oil for water (or citrus juice) you usually save fat.
I'm aiming for 1500 calories a day, and with the olive olive oil I've been coming in at about 1600. 4 tbsps of anything is a pretty small portion, especially spread over the day. The rest of the fats in my diet are mostly what's found in meat and nuts and a very small amount of cheese like part skim mozzarella or feta.
I'm just not sure what a tasty alternative would be--I have a few low fat dressings in my fridge, but they all taste sour and processed to me.
I'll always choose whole over low-calorie/reduced-fat, except for dairy. I have the tendency to be a little heavy handed with the (expensive and delicious) extra virgin olive oil myself. I find if I infuse the oil with some fresh herbs, a little can go a longer way.
jesus, 4 T a day?!?!?! sorry to be so incredulous, but that's a quarter cup of pure oil a day. i'm all for olive oil over premade salad dressings, but how many calories are you eating if 476 are coming from olive oil a day? because you can't be eating 1200 cals day. it's have to be closer to 2000 a day with no other fat. unless your salads are gigantic [and i'm talking a full head of lettuce or a bag or two of the prepackaged stuff] that's way too much per. i generally use a teaspoon per salad and go heavy on the balsamic. you're not going to workdown very quickly, but if you started by using 5 tsp instead of 6 oil per salad, that would cut out 1/3 the cals and you might not notice it. then try 4 tsp and work your way down. you might not get down to a tsp, but you should be able to cut out some of the fat just with the smaller portions. at least get it down to 1 T per salad. because you have to have room for other fats in your diet.
I keep coming up over for my fat grams, but I really don't eat a lot of fat. The culprit looks like it is the 2 tbsps of olive oil I drizzle over my salads with balsamic vinegar. Salad is delicious that way, and I just can't warm to the idea of using low-fat lo-cal dressing because I don't think they taste good.
To me, this is the epitome of the whole, natural food vs calorie & fat counting debate. I know calorie/fat counting works--and I do it, but I don't feel like 4 tbspns of olive oil a day is excessive. Grrr!
Any good alternatives for salad dressings that are still fresh and natural but low in fat? Also, just curious about others perspectives on natural foods vs low cal.
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