Caesar Salad Dressing: Is Salad Dressing Healthy?

on 23rd Jul, 2017
Eating salad is kind of like buying a house, in that the goal is a long-term investment that will pay off down the line. We could eat Mac and Cheese at every meal just because it tastes good, but after a while, the negative impacts of a consistently unhealthy diet will start to set in. Nutritious food is important, and when done right is both delicious and appealing.

At least, that’s how a good vegetable salad is supposed to be. While there may be more enticing options on the menu, what we’re aiming for is long-term health and fitness. But those following nutrition websites or reading ingredient labels may have serious questions about whether or not salads are actually healthy. Dressings add fat and calories that need to be monitored like anything else. Is that massive Caesar salad a life hack? The best salad in Dubai is healthy, but it’s important to make sure that you’re getting it from a respected restaurant that has your best interested at heart. Here, we’ll take a look at Caeser Salads, other dressing options, and what you can do to eat well while staying on the healthy side.

The Truth about Caesar Dressing

What many eaters don’t realise is that a good portion of romaine lettuce and fresh veggies don’t guarantee healthy salads. Some restaurants dress their Caesars just right, making for a salad that is good for you and delicious.

Let’s take a deeper look at Caesar Salads, ways to keep them healthy, and a few good alternatives for those looking to dine healthy in Dubai.

Caesar Salad Dressing: the Basics

Caesar Salads start innocently enough: a big heap of romaine lettuce, some grated parmesan cheese, and perhaps a small handful of sliced tomatoes. Sounds refreshing! Depending on what is in the Caesar dressing and how much is used, these salads can actually make a healthy addition to your meal. 

Some healthy fats and flavour from the olive oil bring out the tangy finish from the mustard. But that’s not a Caesar salad! The core of the dressing takes an otherwise healthy meal and turns it into a calorie monster.

The one thing to watch out for with Caeser Salads is the portion of the dressing. Caesars which are dressed very heavily, with an exceptional layer of dressing tossed in with the other ingredients, are far less healthy. A typical restaurant uses up to twice as much Caesar dressing than on other salads. At Circle Café, we pride ourselves on using the perfect amount of dressing on our famous Caesar Salads.

How to Make a Salad Healthier

But they’re just so delicious! Can’t I order a small side Caesar and be ok?’ We hear you, and our sympathies are strong. We’re guilty of giving in now and then as well. Especially when needing a quick salad to complement a hearty sandwich or bowl of soup. 

What must be asked is how much can the diet be stretched today, and is a salad really the most enjoyable guilty pleasure? There are a few ways to lighten the caloric intake and make this more of a creamy vegetable salad. Here are a few ways to trim the load:
  • Use less dressing. As the dressing is the unhealthy part of this dish, lightening the load by 25-50% makes a big difference. 
  • When ordering in a restaurant, ask for dressing on the side. This way, you’ll have complete control over the amount of dressing used and even have the option to swap it out for a lighter option.
  • Order a half portion or side salad with a sandwich or soup, instead of indulging in the full-size dish. That way, the number of calories and fat from the salad is automatically cut in half.

Best Options for Healthy Salads

There are many options for healthy salads at nutrition-conscious restaurants. Circle Café’s famous Caesar Salad is a great place to start. As the demand for healthier and more natural foods grows in places like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, chefs are responding with dishes that delight the palate without leaving diners with a lingering feeling of regret. That’s the entire point of a vegetable salad, right?

When looking for the best salad in Dubai, we are certain that Circle never disappoints. They offer a great collection of fresh salads that are packed with nutrients and include light, healthy dressing. Our favourite for lunch on a hot day in Dubai is the Hawaiin Pohkay, made with sashimi tuna, quinoa, veggies, and a delicious Asian dressing.

Healthy salads include dressings which base relies heavily on olive oil instead of mayonnaise or cream. Avoid creamy dressings like Ranch and Thousand Island (both are packed full of mayonnaise). Instead, opt for a vinaigrette or a simple mixture of oil and vinegar. The healthy fats in the olive oil work to absorb the nutrients in the vegetable salad without the negative consequences of cream or unnecessary calories. 

Keeping it Healthy: Best Salads in Dubai

No matter where you’re dining in Dubai, keep an eye out for these salad dressings.
  • Caesar Salad from Circle Cafe
  • Mexican Chicken Salad. Heavy in vegetables and low-fat chicken protein.
  • Superfood Salad. In particular, look for superfood salads with salmon, kale, and avocado – what’s not to love? The fats are healthy, and the flavour palate is diverse and full of vitamins and nutrients.
If you find that craving for a creamy dressing taking hold, opt for a choice that also highlights healthier ingredients and has less saturated fat, such as tzatziki, creamy cilantro lime, or perhaps a light ranch.

Be Well-Rounded

When it comes to healthy dining, having a consistently diverse diet of nutritious foods that balance flavour palates and a variety of natural ingredients are the key to success. The same is true for healthy salads – include a variety of fresh vegetables, and make them the focal point. That way, the temptation to add that extra heap of salad dressing will be all but eliminated. Caesar Salads are delicious and, when made right, are also healthy. In Dubai, restaurants such as Circle Café offer a comprehensive menu of foods that will make you feel as good as they taste. The best part? You don’t have to sacrifice any flavour to enjoy a delicious salad as part of a well-rounded diet.