SALADS AND DRESSINGS FAVORABLY POSITIONED FOR INCREASED VEGETABLE AND FRUIT INTAKE, REDUCED SODIUM AND CONSUMPTION OF HEALTHY OILS PER THE RECENT DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS
The salad dressing and sauce industry is in alignment with key recommendations outlined in the recent edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.1 Manufacturers are committed to providing healthful products to consumers, based on their lifestyles and taste preferences.
The recent Guidelines recommend reducing daily sodium intake. Though salad dressings and condiments contribute a small amount to the total intake of sodium by Americans (2.4 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively),2 manufacturers continue to look at innovative ways to reduce sodium by reformulating recipes, incorporating salt replacers, and enhancing the flavor profile with herbs and spices while maintaining the delicious products that consumers have come to expect.
Additionally, it is important to recognize that sodium is an essential nutrient and helps the body to function properly. In part, salt plays a role in muscle contraction and nerve function, helps to regulate blood pressure and volume and aids in the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. In food preparation, salt has many functions such as preserving foods to prevent the growth of microorganisms, enhancing the flavor of foods, and improving food texture.
The Guidelines also recommend increasing vegetable and fruit intake and eating a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas. Salads with dressing are a great way to meet your daily recommendation for fruits and vegetables. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and Louisiana State University published a study in the September 2006 Journal of the American Dietetic Association that found that those who eat salads, raw vegetables and salad dressing have considerably higher levels of vitamins C, E, B6 and folic acid, all key nutrients in promoting a healthy immune system.3
The Guidelines also recommend increased use of oils to replace solid fats, where possible. Oil-based salad dressings and mayonnaise were highlighted as foods that contain oil, and the healthy oils in salad dressings have actually been proven to help the body absorb the important nutrients found in salads.4 In addition, the majority of salad dressings are free of trans fat.
The key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight is moderation. And with endless choices of flavor and nutritious options available for any palate, dressings and sauces with your favorite salads, fruits and veggies are part of a healthy diet and help consumers meet the recommendations outlined in the recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Please visit our website, www.saladaday.org for great recipes and to learn more about the benefits of eating a salad a day with a favorite salad dressing.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. Chapter 3, Food and Food Components to Reduce, Figure 3-2, “Sources of Sodium in the Diets of the U.S. Population Ages 2 Years and Older, NHANES 2005 – 2006.” P 22.
- Su L.J., Arab A. 2006. Salad and Raw Vegetable Consumption and Nutritional Status in the Adult U.S. Population: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J. Am Diet Assn. 106 (9):1394-1404.
- Brown M.J., Ferruzzi M.G., Nguyen M.L., Cooper D.A., Eldridge A.L., Schwartz S.J., White W.S., 2004. Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection. Am J Clin Nutr. 80 (2):396–403.