Do you buy and use commercial salad dressings for your salads? If so, you may want to consider avoiding buying them and making your own instead as most of them – if not all of them, are unhealthy. Most of them are highly processed, they are made with low-quality ingredients, and most of them contain chemicals and additives.

Let’s look at some of the common ingredients:

Genetically modified oils: Most oils used in nonorganic salad dressings come from genetically modified soy or canola oil, which the effects on humans are unknown. Others contain a blend of cheap vegetable oils, high in omega-6s, which promote inflammation in the body.

Sugar: Did you know that not only most salad dressings contain sugar, but that many of them also contain high fructose corn syrup? Sugar contributes to weight gain, tooth decay, diabetes, and more. High fructose corn syrup is genetically modified and is worse than white sugar.

Artificial sweeteners: These sweeteners are commonly found in low-calorie and sugar-free dressing. Plenty of studies have shown links between artificial sweeteners and various types of cancer. Most artificial sweeteners are also derived from GMOs. If you want to save on calories, just use less dressing!

Artificial colors: In most salad dressings, the color doesn’t come from real fruits or ingredients but from artificial food colorings. They are used to make the dressings look prettier and more appetizing. Red #40 has been linked to ADHD in children, Yellow 5 may cause allergic reactions, and caramel color, a common ingredients used in creamy dressings, has been linked to cancer.

MSG: Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a food additive that enhances flavors. It has been linked to migraines in humans and nerve damage in animals. MSG can also be hidden under many different names such as maltodextrin and autolyzed yeast extract.

EDTA: This chemical act as a preservative and helps to bind the metals that are found in the dressing due to the production process to avoid reactions and problems in the body. This chemical can cause allergic reactions, skin rashes, and kidney damage.

Potassium Sorbate: A preservative that will keep dressings “fresh” for months unrefrigerated.

Polysorbate 60: Used as an emulsifier to keep all the ingredients together. Want a natural emulsifier? Simply shake your dressing before using it–no chemicals required.

Titanium dioxide: It’s a chemical found in the paint industry that is commonly used in salad dressings to make the ingredients look fresher. This chemical may also contain lead.

Solution?Make your own salad dressing! That way, you can control the quality of the ingredients and adjust it to your liking. Plus, it’s so easy and quick to make.  it’s healthy, and it tastes so much better! If you are in a hurry and need a dressing for your salad, simply drizzle a good quality oil, add a splash of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, and sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper. It’s that easy!

And if you have to buy a salad dressing, look for an organic salad dressing or one that has a short ingredient list and made with ingredients you know and can pronounce.