Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Negative Effects of Commercial Salad Dressings

Commercial salad dressings are a staple in American pantries. This comes as no surprise as its being readily available in the market makes eating fresh salad vegetables convenient and even delightful. However, once you get to know the smorgasbord of chemical additives and preservatives these mass produced products contain, you’ll definitely want to rule them out of your diet for good.

Read further and discover more about the negative effects of commercial salad dressings and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of dietary fats.

Commercial Salad Dressings’ Risks:

Commercial salad dressings contain unhealthy edible oils like canola and soy bean oil. Even brands that advertise as containing extra virgin olive oil do not use the latter as the main oil and instead have canola and soy bean oils as base as these are way cheaper for mass production. Canola and soy bean oils in the United States are primarily extracted from genetically modified crops. Add to this the fact that these edible plant oils contain chiefly omega-6 and very little omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-6’s effect in the body is that of a pro-inflammatory while omega-3 has the opposite function. Balancing your intake of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids by steering clear of commercial salad dressings is advised if you’d like to avoid inflammation-induced diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Commercial salad dressings contain hydrogenated fats as well. Hydrogenated fats start out as healthy vegetable oils like palm oil or coconut oil. Subjecting the latter in extremely high temperatures as well as adding metal catalysts like platinum, palladium, and sometimes even aluminum, bring about hydrogenated fats which are almost structurally similar to plastics than to edible oils. Hydrogenated fats cause a host of illnesses like coronary heart disease, and diabetes, to name a few, and have been banned for use in Switzerland and Denmark for a number of years now.

Commercial salad dressings contain ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid or EDTA as well, which is added as a preservative. This compound binds with metal so as to diminish the latter’s reactivity. EDTA is added so as to ensure that the product’s ingredients do not react with minute metal particles that may be in the commercial salad dressings from having been blended in industrial size metal tanks. EDTA has been found to be toxic to the cells and genes, and in animals causes serious developmental effects, according to the final report on EDTA published on the International Journal of Toxicology.

Commercial salad dressings contain unhealthy sweeteners like processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup or HFCS as well. As you probably already know, too much consumption of sweeteners causes lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes. HFCS consumption in laboratory animals, on the other hand, brought about symptoms of obesity like raised triglyceride levels in the blood as well as increased body weight and fat.

Commercial salad dressings contain a variety of food dyes as well. For instance, caramel color is typically added to creamy balsamic, honey mustard, and Caesar dressings. Caramel coloring contains 4(5)-methylimidazole, a toxic compound that’s been officially listed in the state of California as a carcinogen since year 2011. FD&C yellow #5 is commonly used as well. This food dye is associated with allergic reactions like urticaria and asthma, and is possibly a carcinogen as well. Titanium dioxide, a usual component in synthetic paints, is typically added as well so as to maintain the vibrant colors of these commercial salad dressings.

Lastly, commercial salad dressings have flavor enhancers like MSG, a known neurotoxin. Emulsifiers, compounds that ensure the ingredients in commercial salad dressings keep together, are added as well. Examples are guar and xantham gum, which can cause allergic reactions. Synthetic emulsifiers like polysorbate 60, a common component in detergents, may sometimes be used as well. Polysorbate 60 causes skin allergies and is potentially toxic to cells as well.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of safflower oil and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of dietary fats.

In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the dietary sources of fats on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:




If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of commercial salad dressings, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of commercial salad dressings.