Every dieter knows salads are good for you. But they can get boring with the same old ingredients and the same old dressings. Flavorful, low-calorie dressings can make salads appealing again. With herbs and spices, intensely-flavored dressings can even increase a salad's nutritional profile.

Herbs such as basil, mint and cilantro can bring a depth of flavor as well as health protection. Herbs contain phytochemicals � the natural substances found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans � that have been shown to protect against many chronic diseases as well as fight cancer.

The following low-calorie, low-fat dressings will enhance the taste and the health benefits of any salad and, because their flavors are so intense, you won't need to use as much as you do with blander dressings.

Dijon-Style Dressing

Makes 1/3 cup.

Content Continues Below ⤵ ↷


  • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (2 tsp. dried)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-3 Tbsp. half-and-half cream (or non-fat dairy cream)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender except cream and mix until well combined and smooth. Gradually add enough of the cream to balance the taste of the vinegar.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
43 calories,
4 g. total fat,
Less than 1 g. saturated fat,
1 g. carbohydrate,
Less than 1 g. protein,
0 g. dietary fiber,
230 mg. sodium

Diabetic Exchanges:1 Fat

Tangy Pan-Asian Dressing

Makes scant 1/2 cup.


  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh cilantro or chives
  • 2 Tbsp. finely-minced fresh mint
  • 1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter or reduced-fat version


  1. Using a whisk and bowl or a blender, combine all ingredients until well combined and smooth.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
22 calories,
Less than 1 g. fat,
0 g. saturated fat,
4 g. carbohydrate,
Less than 1 g. protein,
0 g. dietary fiber,
103 mg. sodium

Diabetic Exchanges:1 Fat