2

votes

When faced with two "bad" foods, how do you pick which is better?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 29, 2011 at 5:33 PM

For example, salad dressing. Today at work I decided to go to the grocery store and get all the ingredients for a healthy paleo-friendly salad instead of risking it with a chain joint. I succeeded!

But since I didn't have a container in which to make my own dressing, I decided to find one that was paleo-friendly in the salad dressing aisle. Wow! It took me about 10 minutes to find one that was even remotely ok, and even then it wasn't 100% perfect.

I had to decide between Newman's Own and Kraft (imagine that!!) and the deciding factor was Newman's Own had a much shorter ingredients list, even though it still contained some sugar (not corn syrup) and vegetable oils. The kraft had soybean oil much higher on the list, sugar as well, but many other ingredients near the end that were "chemical" in nature.

So I went with the one with more "natural" ingredients.

How do you decide between two sub-par foods, when you have to choose? (Please don't say "I don't pick either" as that doesn't really contribute to discussion) :)

65333605eb0e62ccdb9ffaac00727bc6

(150)

on October 09, 2012
at 10:34 PM

I really like the idea of using the oil from the tuna :-)

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 23, 2012
at 11:59 AM

Either that, or it's an opportunity to fast. :)

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on September 23, 2012
at 02:13 AM

This is exactly why I shop with ideas and a grocery list, but change my game plan in the moment. Eggs, cheese and guac could totally work... As long as you chose a complementary cheese IMO.

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 22, 2012
at 08:36 PM

I'd pick neither and, if I didn't eat that morning either, then to me would sound like a good time to fast :)

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 30, 2011
at 12:20 PM

I hate bleu cheese - tastes like mildew :(

Medium avatar

(5639)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Olive oil and salt is all I ever really use.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:02 AM

Not jarred stuff, Oranges. The deli usually has a fresh salsa that is pretty much tomatoes + spices. It's excellent on a salad.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 29, 2011
at 10:56 PM

A lot of the suggestions are great - salsa and guac are good if I had a taco salad, but with the ingredients I picked out, it wouldn't work. Eggs and cheese and salsa? Maybe if I wanted an omelet...

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 29, 2011
at 10:54 PM

Lemons don't go all that well with eggs and cheese.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 29, 2011
at 10:53 PM

I checked those but believe it or not they were worse! I was hoping I could find a bottled version of basic "olive oil + vinegar" but no such luck.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 29, 2011
at 09:44 PM

Squeeze a half lemon or grapefruit on it, call it good.

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on March 29, 2011
at 08:08 PM

"So I went with the one with more "natural" ingredients." Yep, that's what I do too. Might as well make the best of the situation.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on March 29, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Oh yes- fresh salsa and single ingredient sour cream makes an awesome taco salad!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 29, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Second the salsa from the deli or even pico de gallo or guacamole. All good choices.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 29, 2011
at 07:40 PM

I think he meant just eat it without dressing at all.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 29, 2011
at 07:00 PM

It would've killed the $20 I had in my pocket - $3 for primo salad dressing or $5 for a bottle of olive oil and a bottle of vinegar? I get your point, but its not the question I was asking.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on March 29, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Would it have really killed you to have just eaten the salad without the salad dressing?

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 29, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Very unlikely, I would have had to purchase a bottle of olive oil and a bottle of something else. More cost effective, and its only 1 tablespoon at a time so it can't be TOO terrible.

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13 Answers

best answer

12
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on March 29, 2011
at 05:51 PM

I would have to do the same thing you did by reading the ingredients. I would avoid garbage that I can't pronounce, then look out for sugar and grains, then worry about the type of oil.

BTW, you can drizzle a salad with olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice without having to mix the two first.

7
2cdd1c775683f760390d80cdb984fc13

on March 29, 2011
at 07:33 PM

I would have also done what you did. Compare labels and choose the lesser of 2 evils.

In the case of salad dressing, the ones kept in the refrigerated case near the produce have fewer additives (no preservatives). Fresh salsa is also a great alternative to salad dressing if you can find it.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 29, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Second the salsa from the deli or even pico de gallo or guacamole. All good choices.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on March 29, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Oh yes- fresh salsa and single ingredient sour cream makes an awesome taco salad!

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 29, 2011
at 10:53 PM

I checked those but believe it or not they were worse! I was hoping I could find a bottled version of basic "olive oil + vinegar" but no such luck.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:02 AM

Not jarred stuff, Oranges. The deli usually has a fresh salsa that is pretty much tomatoes + spices. It's excellent on a salad.

5
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on March 29, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I would have read all the bottles and been disgusted with the choices and picked something else like fresh fruit or lemon/lime juice or something from the deli to use as a topping.

You have to think outside the box sometimes. Not buying a packaged dressing does not mean that you have to choose "no dressing". I just find other items to use to give the salad a little kick.

3
B4313b18cc03036a6147543d7b0872d6

(566)

on March 30, 2011
at 04:44 AM

If I were forced to choose between two poor choices, I'd pick the sub-par food with no grain or. rancid PUFAs. In reality, I'd have gone to the produce department, picked up an avocado and a citrus fruit and called it good.

1
7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on September 23, 2012
at 04:03 AM

Think to yourself, salad dressing costs so much and an entire bottle of olive oil costs so and so. Buy the olive oil, steal a pack or two of salt and pepper from the local fast food chain. Plastic fork, and spoon and you're good to go.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 23, 2012
at 11:59 AM

Either that, or it's an opportunity to fast. :)

1
A3c56c85290f748410a6f340ddd552b3

on September 22, 2012
at 08:29 PM

I think we need a Paleo version of "eat this, not that!"

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 30, 2011
at 07:52 AM

As a rule I think it's best to go with something high in sugar (or hfcs or other such carb) rather than high vegetable oil. The carbohydrate will just be turned relatively undestructively into fat, whereas the vegetable oil, in even relatively small quantities, will make quite an impact on your omega3:omega6 balance (e.g. a tablespoon of soybean oil is around 7g omega 6). Obviously hydrogenated oils are all the more worth avoiding and similarly, going for the product that doesn't contain (or contains least of) completely toxic substances like gluten should probably be the main priority.

1
307c9129b8e1dd0433a3fbb16e0c4a92

on March 30, 2011
at 02:11 AM

I prefer my salad sans-dressing however I usually have salad and small can of tuna (in olive oil) for lunch and I pour a little of the oil over the salad. You could get the salad stuff and a small can of tuna in olive oil & a bottle of vinegar which are usually cheap and splash a dah of that on your salad, some lemon or lime juice are good options.

I keep some basics in my drawer (or locker) at work, salt/pepper, small cans of tuna and if you buy those trvael size (empty) shampoo containors you can fill them up @ home with a little oil or vinergar, or even make a dressing mix and keep it at work also.

I understand those options only work if you have prepared them in advance, but I also know that at least one day a week I will have left home without lunch packed due to timme constraints or no leftovers. In these instances I pop down to the local lunch place and buy a salad pack (lettuce & greek sald, no fetta cheese) and then pop back to work, grab seasonings & a can of tuna and utensils from my drawer and enjoy!

I really avoid buying a salad, for no other reason than the cost (AU$7.00) which drives me nuts when I think about what kind of gormet salad I could make with that much money if I went to the supermarket and made my own salad at home.

65333605eb0e62ccdb9ffaac00727bc6

(150)

on October 09, 2012
at 10:34 PM

I really like the idea of using the oil from the tuna :-)

1
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on March 29, 2011
at 09:42 PM

I would buy a small bottle of olive oil and a small bottle of apple cider vinegar and pout them on separately and lightly.

You dont need a mixing bottle.

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on March 29, 2011
at 08:17 PM

First of all you should be commended for your critical thinking skills as well as your willingness to follow-up here asking for feedback and ideas on the subject. Just learning to really think about your choices and learning the best method of making a good evaluation is more than half the battle. I think you did a great job!

I know you didn't want to hear "neither" as an answer but see that you are getting that and I would probably have to say that would be my answer as well. I disagree that this answer doesn't further the conversation though. I hope you are able to see that. Given only those two choices of dressings with no other options I would have gone without and going without is a perfectly fine option if you allow it to be. It may be that you aren't in a place yet where that is a viable option but I hope you can see that for some it is a great solution to this problem.

I also think the idea of thinking outside the box is a great one. Learning to see options you might not normally see is a learned skill. Given I'm in a grocery store with a couple of bucks to spend I imagine I would have bought a lemon but the guac and salsa ideas are great ideas. Learning to expand our ideas to solve our problem without compromising our convictions is a skill honed by time and experience.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 29, 2011
at 10:56 PM

A lot of the suggestions are great - salsa and guac are good if I had a taco salad, but with the ingredients I picked out, it wouldn't work. Eggs and cheese and salsa? Maybe if I wanted an omelet...

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on September 23, 2012
at 02:13 AM

This is exactly why I shop with ideas and a grocery list, but change my game plan in the moment. Eggs, cheese and guac could totally work... As long as you chose a complementary cheese IMO.

1
Medium avatar

on March 29, 2011
at 05:51 PM

Difficult to say in general because it all depends, but in that case olive oil and vinegar would have been largely innocuous. I dunno if you can purchase a premade one like that though.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 29, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Very unlikely, I would have had to purchase a bottle of olive oil and a bottle of something else. More cost effective, and its only 1 tablespoon at a time so it can't be TOO terrible.

0
7be1c1f78220d62f0e773d17d8df859e

on March 09, 2012
at 05:44 PM

I just sprinkle a LITTLE salt and pepper on the top. Actually a little salt and a bunch of pepper. That gives it the zip I'm looking for. Another great option is hot sauce if you like spicy stuff, which I do. :)

0
29686e6867f73a7deee8bf0578cb2107

on March 30, 2011
at 03:51 AM

Unfortunately, most of the "blue cheese" dressings available are heavy on the soybean oil etc., but what about some real blue cheese (already in crumbly form in a tub) along with some olive oil? Or if your market has one of those antipasto bars, I bet it would be delicious to get a few olives and other pickled-type goodies and go heavy on the marinade they're usually sitting in, and just pour the whole thing over the salad. Mmm.

By the way, Cost Plus World Imports has these great little travel-size bottles of olive oil and vinegar and such, and you can get packets of red pepper flakes from pizza places. These all make nice salad toppings.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on March 30, 2011
at 12:20 PM

I hate bleu cheese - tastes like mildew :(

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