Ranch dressing is known for generally not being the best for calories or fat content. However, does it also have a lot of sugar which contributes to the calorie count? You will learn the answer below as you view the sugar in popular ranch dressing brands.
Sugar In Ranch Dressing
Ranch dressing typically has sugar. It is commonly made with buttermilk which naturally contains sugar known as lactose. Additionally, it’s common for manufacturers to add a small amount of sugar to ranch dressing for flavor.
The table below reflects a list of popular store-bought ranch dressings and their sugar content. Total sugars represent natural and added sugars. Added sugars are what the manufacturer adds during processing and are included in total sugars. For example, Bolthouse Farms Ranch has 2 grams of total sugar of which 1 gram is added sugar.
|Ranch Dressing||Serving Size||Total Sugars(g)||Added Sugars(g)|
|Hidden Valley Original||2 tbsp. (30mL)||1g||1g|
|Hidden Valley Buttermilk||2 tbsp. (30mL)||1g||1g|
|Ken’s Steak House Ranch||2 tbsp. (30g)||1g||1g|
|Litehouse Homestyle Ranch||2 tbsp. (30mL)||1g||<1g|
|Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch||2 tbsp. (30g)||2g||1g|
|Kraft Classic Ranch||2 tbsp. (29g)||1g||1g|
|Olive Garden Parmesan Ranch||2 tbsp. (29g)||<1g||0g|
|Marzetti Classic Ranch||2 tbsp. (29g)||1g||<1g|
|Newman’s Own Ranch||2 tbsp. (30g)||2g||2g|
|Wishbone Ranch||2 tbsp. (30mL)||1g||<1g|
|Primal Kitchen Ranch||2 tbsp. (30mL)||0g||0g|
|Great Value Classic Ranch||2 tbsp. (30mL)||1g||<1g|
Ranch Dressing Ingredients
Below are the ingredients in Original Hidden Valley Ranch to provide an example of what is in ranch dressing. The two primary sources of sugar are buttermilk (lactose) and sugar. These ingredients are the typical sources of sugar in ranch dressing.
Original Hidden Valley Ranch Ingredients: Vegetable Oil (Soybean and/or Canola), Water, Buttermilk, Sugar, Salt, Egg Yolk, Less Than 1% of: Spices, Garlic*, Onion*, Vinegar, Phosphoric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Modified Food Starch, Monosodium Glutamate, Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, Disodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA Added to Preserve Freshness, Disodium Inosinate & Guanylate. *Dried
Recommended Daily Sugar & Ranch Dressing
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines) are developed in collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These guidelines supply dietary recommendations on eating and drinking healthily.
The Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans consume no more than 10% of calories from added sugars. So, if a person is on a 2,000-calorie diet, they would be able to consume up to 200 calories from added sugar. That is equivalent to a maximum of 50 grams of added sugar daily (200 calories ÷ 4 calories per gram of sugar = 50 grams). The typical American consumes much more at about 68 grams of added sugar per day.
When the added sugar in ranch dressing is compared to the daily recommended added sugar, we find that the sugar in ranch dressing is minimal. This is even true for people consuming lower-calorie diets, such as 1,000 calories per day, where 25 grams is the recommended maximum added sugar per day. A 2-tablespoon serving of ranch dressing would allow for an additional 24 grams or so of added sugar that could be consumed without exceeding the recommendation.
Note that natural sugar is found in foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy. The WHO states that there is no reported evidence of adverse effects of eating or drinking natural sugars. In other words, added sugar is much more harmful to the body than natural sugar which is why health professionals focus on recommending limiting added sugar.
Jacob, D. (2020, October 16). Does natural sugar count toward daily intake? MedicineNet. Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.medicinenet.com/does_natural_sugar_count_toward_daily_intake/article.htm