Even if your dressing is fat-free, it doesn’t mean you will be. Fat-free dressings actually tend to be more processed, and higher in sodium, high-fructose sugars, and carbohydrates compared to their full-fat counterparts.
That’s because when food manufacturers remove fat from their products, they have to replace it with something to keep it from tasting atrocious, explains Jim White, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios.
For instance, fat-free Hidden Valley Ranch contains three times more carbs and sugar than the full-fat version. What’s more, even with all of that extra sugar, many low-fat dressings still taste pretty “meh” and leave you unsatisfied, so you end up following up your salad with a second lunch, he says.