What food group is a salad dressing?

Legitimate question for you friends - I'm doing a new chart of food groups so I can keep my carb instances down. I have my meals [breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack] broken down into meat [or protein, so nuts and eggs would be included here], veggies, fruits, dairy, carbs [bread or gluten-based carbs]. I also have a listing for sugar [anything with a high sugar content with absolutely no nutritional content]. Calorie counting alone hasn't helped me, so having a color-key visual chart will help me cut down on how many times a day or month I consume those bread carbs.

Most things are obvious as to what food groups they belong to, but the one I couldn't figure out was salad dressing. Is it a carb or a sugar or what? And obviously not all dressings are created equal either. Some are much more carb-heavy than others.

I love salads but unfortunately don't like eating them without a dressing. I don't care for oils and lemon juice, which I know are lower-calorie options. To be frank, I like my ranch, catalina and italian dressings. So - What to do?
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Replies

  • queenliz99
    queenliz99 Posts: 15,317 Member
    edited June 2016
    fat?
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,187 Member
    If you are making a custom chart, look at the ingredients of your chosen salad dressing. For an oil & vinegar dressing, put it in the "fat" side of your chart. Calories from vinegar are insignificant compared to the oil.
  • Witchdoctor58
    Witchdoctor58 Posts: 226 Member
    I use olive oil, balsamic vinegar and oregano, easy to chart. Commercial dressings are usually full of high fructose corn syrup and low quality vegetable oil.
  • Huffdogg
    Huffdogg Posts: 1,963 Member
    Macros are the way to go. Trying to chart foods via food group is going to get exhausting. Most salad dressings are either mostly fat or mostly carbs, but the majority have a certain amount of both.
  • JinjoJoey
    JinjoJoey Posts: 106 Member
    edited June 2016
    I do low calorie dressings, they still taste very good to me and honesty, it only takes a couple of tablespoons to mix in with a large salad. Two tablespoons of Hidden Valley light ranch is only 25 calories and it still tastes damn good! I'm strictly speaking from a calorie sense, though. I don't dig too much into what's in my dressings. I continue to lose weight using light dressings and they taste good, to me, so that's the way I go.
  • fishshark
    fishshark Posts: 1,886 Member
    most likely fat.. but depends what type of dressing you ate making.
  • brower47
    brower47 Posts: 16,357 Member
    Fat. I'd put the nuts in the fat group too since they contain considerably more fat than protien.
  • cw106
    cw106 Posts: 945 Member
    Obviously fat.
    Not sure why you are trying to re-invent the wheel .
    Macros cover all food groups.
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    seska422 wrote: »
    This is where macro counting is easier to handle than food groups. Single foods (or mixes like salad dressing) don't often fit neatly into just one food group. You also have foods that would make more sense in a different group, such as nuts which have much more fat than protein.

    This is the problem with food groups - they don't totally correspond with certain nutrients; foods just "belong" to different food groups because they "mainly" provide this or that nutrient, and which group a food belongs to, will vary depending on who you ask; we all have different needs, beliefs and experience. Tracking in diary is neutral, and I found it to be a great relief from all the conflicting advice and opinions.

    You can do what you are doing, if you absolutely don't want to track in your diary - I do this myself, now, in a spreadsheet, and it works wonderfully (after I learnt portion control and how to compose balanced meals from tracking/counting). Just keep in mind what I said, "food groups" is a very rough division and you can use them as guidance, but don't "overthink" it; focus on the major chunks of your diet, and don't hassle with condiments and such.
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,750 Member
    edited June 2016
    Primarily fat. A standard oil and vinegar dressing is three parts oil to one part vinegar (vinegar is mostly water). Mayo is almost entirely fat. Any creamy additions like sour cream are, again, mostly fat.

    Many dressings *also* have carbs in the form of added sugar or honey, but the fat dominates.

    The exception to this are low fat dressings and some East Asian dressings, where sugar is the dominant ingredient.

    What you're doing is a useful and interesting educational project which will probably help you understand more about your food, but don't forget mfp also tracks macros and will give you an average ratio compared with your goals, which can be very helpful, as a lot of foods are a mixture of several groups.
  • zoeysasha37
    zoeysasha37 Posts: 7,092 Member
    Instead of breaking everything up into little sub categories, why not just track your protein fat and carbs?
    For any weight loss to occur, you still need a calorie deficit. Cutting down on bread won't cause weight loss unless you are eating at a calorie deficit.
    It just seems like this chart that your making could be over complicating things. Just remember -Weight loss comes from a calorie deficit.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,034 Member
    What does the label have as to the percentage to fat? Likely closer to 70% fat.

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  • RogerToo
    RogerToo Posts: 16,157 Member
    Hi
    Also I might consider putting Cheese into the Protein category, It depends on which cheese and if Low Fat or Not.

    Good Luck
    Roger
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,750 Member
    Cheese is mostly fat in most cases. If you're taking about fresh cheese, like cottage cheese, paneer or similar, then sure.
  • ASKyle
    ASKyle Posts: 1,475 Member
    Depends on the dressing. It's hard to put an item with many ingredients into one category. Chicken is a protein, pasta is a carb, but whats chicken parmesan? Lol

    Side note, try Bolthouse Farms dressings. They're in the refrigerated section, and are a really good swap!
  • dreambig_gohome
    dreambig_gohome Posts: 194 Member
    Instead of breaking everything up into little sub categories, why not just track your protein fat and carbs?
    For any weight loss to occur, you still need a calorie deficit. Cutting down on bread won't cause weight loss unless you are eating at a calorie deficit.
    It just seems like this chart that your making could be over complicating things. Just remember -Weight loss comes from a calorie deficit.

    Because I've done ALL of that, tracking calorie deficits at 1800 cals, going to the gym regularly, keeping track of fat and protein and carb macros, all of that, and in six months still haven't lost weight. I've lost a lot of weight before doing myfitnesspal, about 4 years ago, and have slowly put it back on. At the beginning of the year I decided to try and lose it all again... But wasn't. So... Here I am, trying a new strategy that seems to be paying off better, honestly.

    That's why.
  • dreambig_gohome
    dreambig_gohome Posts: 194 Member
    Thank you for all of your responses. I wasn't looking for advice in tracking calories, macros, or otherwise. I'm doing this because all of my other strategies including everything above, haven't worked to help me lose weight so far. I'm doing this because I'm trying to find the culprit in why I haven't lost weight in 6 months doing mfp and the gym. Obviously, something isn't right in my diet that my calorie deficit and macros wasn't catching. So... there you go. That's it. I just wanted to try something else, and awareness and limiting carbs seems to be working better than anything else. Having a visual, colored spreadsheet shows me how many times a day I consume a "mostly" carb, veggie, fruit or protein substance. It's helping.

    Thanks for the advice, but I really only wanted to know about the condiment thing!
  • Debbie_Ferr
    Debbie_Ferr Posts: 582 Member
    edited June 2016
    Thank you for all of your responses. I just wanted to try something else, and awareness and limiting carbs seems to be working better than anything else. Having a visual, colored spreadsheet shows me how many times a day I consume a "mostly" carb, veggie, fruit or protein substance. It's helping.

    Keep up the good work, being aware is the 1st step, it WILL pay off :)

    All foods breaks down into: Carb, protein, fat, water. Vitamins & Minerals.
    so guessing when you say carbs, you're meaning starchy / sugary / processdc carbs.
    btw ~ Veggies & fruits are mostly carbs.. some like to call them the good carbs :):)

  • dreambig_gohome
    dreambig_gohome Posts: 194 Member
    Thank you for all of your responses. I just wanted to try something else, and awareness and limiting carbs seems to be working better than anything else. Having a visual, colored spreadsheet shows me how many times a day I consume a "mostly" carb, veggie, fruit or protein substance. It's helping.

    Keep up the good work, being aware is the 1st step, it WILL pay off :)

    All foods breaks down into: Carb, protein, fat, water. Vitamins & Minerals.
    so guessing when you say carbs, you're meaning starchy / sugary / processdc carbs.
    btw ~ Veggies & fruits are mostly carbs.. some like to call them the good carbs :):)

    Well absolutely, yes! I'm not worried about naturally-occurring fruit and veggie carbs, although I DO watch what I eat with those, like corn and carrots, or cherries and peaches, that are higher in sugars. It's not a free-for-all, but what I consider a "carb" is anything starchy or sugary. I'm not cutting every single resistant carb, like rice, oats or potatoes, but I'm just being careful with them! Awareness of what I eat in those categories and when is the whole point of this. Logging is important, but having a quick color-coded chart is just... simpler, to me.