Eating those carrots or celery sticks may not have all the health benefits you’d think if you’re dipping them in ranch first. Just two tablespoons is an average serving of that white creamy dressing, so it can be no time before you’re going overboard as you’re pouring in on top of your salad or using it as a dip.
There’s no question that ranch may seem to make everything taste better—especially veggies—but the side effects it can have on your body if you eat too much of it may be dangerous for your health. Here’s what you could be facing if you eat too much of one of America’s favorite dressings, and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
When it comes to your heart health, it’s crucial to be conscious of the amount of sodium in your diet. Even though you may not taste the salt when you’re dipping your veggies into ranch dressing, you’re getting a lot of it.
Ranch dressing contains 320 milligrams of sodium in a two-tablespoon serving. Eating this much sodium on a regular basis could lead to heart health issues like high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.
The Mayo Clinic recommends adults keep their sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams each day—and specifically mention avoiding foods with more than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving. To know other sneaky sources of sodium, check out our list of 21 Foods With More Sodium Than A Pack of Ramen.
Your instincts probably tell you that going for a low-fat option, usually means you’re going for the better one—but not in the case of ranch. Although you will be taking in fewer calories if you go with a low-fat option, it’s the lack of fat that will have an impact on your intake of vitamins that come from the vegetables.
Ultimately, what this means is you won’t get all the nutritional benefits of eating vegetables if you’re eating them with ranch. A 2015 study found that eating meals with some form of fat helps the body to absorb vitamin D. So, in order to get the full effects of the veggies you’re eating, it’s important to eat them with some form of healthy fat. Your best option is to properly portioning out a full-fat ranch dressing, or simply making it yourself!
Saturated fat is always something to try and stay away from. It’s in many processed foods—and it can have significant impacts on your overall health, especially your cholesterol levels. According to the FoodData Central Database, one serving of ranch has around 2 to 2.5 grams of saturated fat. That may not sound like much, but it adds up fast—and you’ll be seeing the impact it has on your cholesterol levels.
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Something to always be cautious of when you’re eating anything creamy like ranch dressing is the calories. On average per serving, you’re looking at about 129 calories, according to the FoodData Central Database—but it’s important to note that options do vary in calories. In order to limit your weight gain, look closely at the ingredients listed, and make sure you’re buying from a brand where you recognize all the ingredients.
It’s not just the calories that could lead to significant weight gain—it’s also the sugar content in ranch dressing, and we know sugar is a huge factor of gaining weight. Similar to the salt content, sugar content in ranch can sometimes be hard to detect by taste, so it’s crucial that you’re looking at the nutrition information to ensure that you’re buying the brand with the least amount of sugar. According to a 2017 research review, consuming too much added sugar not only increases the risk of obesity, but also obesity-related cancers and cavities. So, in order to help to maintain a healthy weight, it’s could be a good idea to limit your ranch intake, and properly portion it out when you do eat ranch. Here are 18 Easy Ways to Control Your Portion Sizes.