Improve the Quality of Fats Consumed by Making Homemade Salad Dressing

olive and flax oils

I recently wrote an article for Bella Magazine entitled Fighting About Fat: Facts and Fallacies.  In this article I discuss some of the research that has been done about the various types of fats in the diet.  The article also discusses omega-6 and omega-3 fats, why they are essential and gives a number of ideas as to how to balance them in the diet.  Read the article for a good overview about fats.

One great way to reduce the amount of omega-6 fats in your diet is to make your own salad dressing.  The chart below shows the omega 6 and omega 3 content of a number of different oils.  Virtually all conventional bottled salad dressing is made with soybean oil.  Organic or natural brands use either organic soybean oil, canola oil or sunflower oil.  All of these are high in omega 6.  Canola oil has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of about two to one, so that profile is good.  Canola oil has over twice the amount of omega-6 per tablespoon than olive oil and it is highly processed, so I prefer not to use it on a regular basis.

Fatty Acid in Selected OilsFatty Acid in Selected OilsFatty Acid in Selected Oils

Favorite Oils for Salads

My favorite oils to use for salad dressings are flaxseed oil and extra-virgin olive oil.  Olive oil is the least expensive and is high in mono-unsaturated fats and has little omega-6.  Flax oil has a slightly higher content of omega 6, but still only one-third of the omega-6 in soybean oil.  It also has a good amount of omega-3 fat.  Avocado oil has a similar fat profile to olive oil.  It tastes great, and is full of vitamin E.  Avocado oil is much more expensive than olive oil, so I don’t use it a lot, but I do eat the fruit on a regular basis.  Click here to read an excellent article about avocado oil from the website Mark’s Daily Apple.  Macadamia nut oil is another good oil to use.  It has a similar fat profile to olive oil, but is also expensive.

It is easy to make your own salad dressing and takes less than five minutes.  I adapted the recipe below from Dr. Eric Zelinski’s website.  It includes both olive oil and flax seeds, so this will be an excellent choice for your salads.  You can change the taste slightly be varying the types of vinegars or herbs that you use.  The coconut yoghurt is optional, but adds a creamy texture and some additional probiotics.

Check out the recipe page on my website for additional salad dressing recipes.  What are your favorite types of oils?  Comment below and share your favorite oils and any recipes that you have.

Creamy Vinaigrette

¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon ground flax seeds
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons plain coconut milk yoghurt (So Delicious brand)
1 teaspoon dried herbs (your choice)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Grind flax seeds in blender.  Add remaining ingredients and blend well.  This keeps up to a week in the refrigerator.

Notes: Different types of vinegar and herbs can be used to change the flavor.  Coconut milk yoghurt may be omitted or dairy yoghurt may be used.

Recipe modified from

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