Ranch dressing is a favorite salad dressing for many people. It comes top of their list.
Also, many people include ranch dressing as a condiment for almost all their foods, from sandwiches to French fries, and pizza. There is no doubt about this due to its tastiness and creaminess.
If you eat a lot of ranch dressing, you may wonder if you are taking in too many calories.
This article reviews the calorie content of some well-known brands of ranch dressing as well as some of its health effects.
What are the contents of ranch dressing?
Conventionally, ranch salad dressing has a base of buttermilk cream flavored with herbs, mustard, and garlic. Some of the herbs used in flavoring include chives, dill, and parsley.
Some brands of ranch dressing are prepared with yogurt rather than buttermilk. Others get their creaminess from eggs and oil.
Ranch dressing may be sold as a powdered mix, and you can buy and add your milk, sour cream, mayonnaise, yogurt, or buttermilk to make your creamy base.
The calorie count of a salad dressing is mostly determined by its base. That’s where the fat – and most of its calorie content are housed.
Calorie content of some well-known brands of ranch dressing
There are very many brands of bottled ranch dressing salad sold online and in physical stores. Over 5000 entries are listed in the nutrition database of the United States Department of Agriculture (1).
2 tablespoons of ranch dressing contain 13 grams of fat, 129 calories, less than a gram of protein, and 2 grams of carbs (2).
Below, we have the ingredient and calorie details for 30ml (2 tablespoons) of some popular brands (1).
- Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing: A serving of this brand provides 12 grams of fat and 110 calories. The fat comes from soybean oil.
- Original Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing: A serving provides 14 grams of fat and 140 calories. The fat in this brand comes from egg yolks, canola oil, and soybean oil.
- Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing: It contains 13 grams of fat and 120 calories. The fat is sourced from avocado oil.
- Annie’s Cowgirl Ranch Dressing: You will get 10 grams of fat and 110 calories per serving. The fat comes from buttermilk and canola oil.
- Newman’s Ranch Dressing: 16 grams of fat and 150 calories are packed in this brand. The fat comes from buttermilk and soybean oil.
- Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Ranch: Because of its low oil content, this brand contains just 5 grams of fat and 60 calories per serving. Its two main ingredients – water and rehydrated Greek yogurt are fat-free.
- Bolthouse Farms Classic ranch: It has the lowest number of calories, just 45, and only 3 grams of fat. Buttermilk is the major ingredient. Milk, cream, and yogurt provide its creaminess.
Calories aren’t created equal
There is more to bottled salad dressing than just the calories. You must take into consideration the type of oil and other ingredients in it.
The soybean oil in most brands of ranch dressing is a major source of dietary omega-6 fat.
On the other hand, canola oil, olive oil and avocado oil are very healthy and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, even though they provide a similar number of calories per gram as less healthy fats (5, 6).
Although they may not have an increasing effect on the calorie count, the artificial ingredients in some ranch dressing brands might cause weight gain.
Clinical research shows that high consumption of ultra-processed foods (foods that contain artificial ingredients) tends to promote weight gain and buildup of belly fat, especially in women (7).
The homemade ranch dressing recipe
Ranch dressing is easy to make. And you don’t need many ingredients. Just a few simple ones.
You can select a healthy base and combine the ingredients to your taste. A major advantage of homemade dressing is that you’ll skip preservatives, additives, and other artificial ingredients.
To prepare ranch dressing, mix ½ cup of buttermilk, high-quality mayonnaise made with avocado, olive or canola oil, and plain Greek yogurt.
Thereafter, you stir two tablespoons of minced dill, two tablespoons of minced chives, and 4 tablespoons of minced parsley. If fresh herbs aren’t handy, you may use dried ones, but reduce the amount of each by half.
Thereafter, you add ½ tablespoon of the following ingredients:
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Dried mustard
- A generous amount of ground pepper.
Whisk and add some water if it’s too thick.
You can refrigerate this ranch dressing in a jar for up to one week.
Ranch dressing is very common. It is a staple in most kitchens.
Ranch dressing promotes healthy eating if it increases your intake of vegetables or salads. But then, you must note that some brands contain lots of fat and other unhealthy ingredients.
While the calories in ranch dressing should be considered, the ingredient list may be more important. Choose a brand with recognizable ingredients. Alternatively, you can make yours at home.