No matter how careful you are on the keto diet, it is easy to overlook the condiments used to enhance carefully prepared main courses. Even if you do remember to check condiments, there don’t seem to be many guidelines available on how they fit into the keto diet.
For example, Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing is one of the most widely used salad dressings. This mayonnaise-based mixture is a staple at many dinner tables across the country. Although it is tempting to reach for the product to complete a meal, the dressing does not fit into the keto diet and is generally unhealthy for several reasons.
#1 High in Carbs and Sugar
For starters, Hidden Valley Ranch contains 2g of carbohydrates and 1g of sugar per serving. Because the Keto diet is at its core a low-carb and high-fat diet, the high amounts of carbohydrates and sugar per serving are not ketogenic.
If the body receives more carbohydrates than it should on the keto diet through Hidden Valley Ranch, it will not be able to reach ketosis. The body must receive primarily fats and minimal carbohydrates to achieve this natural metabolic state.
#2 Made From Soybean Oil
Hidden Valley Ranch contains a whopping 14 grams of fat per serving, and it is easy to get fooled into thinking that this means the product must be good for the diet because it is high in fat. However, all fats should not be treated equally.
The first ingredient listed in Hidden Valley Ranch is a vegetable oil, or more specifically soybean oil. Although soybean oil is the most consumed vegetable oil in the United States, it is one of the worst types of fats.
Soybean oil not only is high in omega-6 fats which can cause heart disease, obesity, and cancer, but it also is known to render critical immune cells useless.
#3 Contains Modified Food Starch, A GMO Product
Another alarming ingredient clearly written on Hidden Valley Ranch’s label is modified food starch. Essentially, this is a greatly processed carbohydrate that acts to extend shelf life and as a stabilizer when freezing or thawing food.
Besides being a GMO, or a genetically modified organism with questionable stability, modified food starch is usually treated with unsafe chemicals like sulfuric acid and chlorine. It ranks high in calories, making it a violation of the keto diet on a number of levels.
#4 Contains MSG
Many people will be surprised to learn that monosodium glutamate, or MSG as it is commonly known, is another integral ingredient in Hidden Valley Ranch. Used as a flavor enhancer with low sodium levels, MSG has made a less than favorable name for itself for good reason.
Although the FDA has classified MSG as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), there are many reports of nausea, headaches, obesity, depression, and mental disorders linked to the consumption of MSG.
#5 Too Many Preservatives and Chemicals
Unfortunately, there are even more unhealthy flavor enhancers found in this condiment. Unlike the ingredients listed so far, these flavor enhancers can be accounted for in the ingredient list under “natural flavors,” so it is hard to know when they are included and when they aren’t. However, it is common that they are paired with MSG.
Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate are two examples of additives often paired with MSG, and they are usually used together. Essentially, they work with MSG to enhance the overall flavor of food while also decreasing sodium levels. It is less expensive for manufacturers to use these additives instead of combining more healthy ingredients to make the same taste, so these additives are common in cheaper products with a concentrated flavor like soup mixes, sauces, spreads, and salad dressings like Hidden Valley Ranch.
Unfortunately, the side effects of these additives are just as disturbing as MSG. Common side effects for Disodium Inosinate include burning of the skin—especially the facial area—numbness, constipation, and migraine headaches. Similarly, Disodium Guanylate can cause vomiting, migraine headaches, and dizziness.
Hidden Valley Ranch is not keto-friendly because it is high in carbohydrates (2g of carbs per tablespoon). It is also made from soybean oil which is linked to heart disease and obesity. Moreover, it contains GMO ingredients, MSG, and several preservatives which are all harmful to your health.
Hidden Valley Ranch does not contain wheat, barley, or rye so it is gluten-free.
Hidden Valley Ranch is vegetarian since it does not contain any meat products. However, it is not considered vegan since it contains egg and milk.
Yes, Hidden Valley Ranch contains MSG. Although the FDA has classified MSG as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), there are many reports of nausea, headaches, obesity, depression, and mental disorders linked to the consumption of MSG.