Keto diets have become increasingly popular over the last few years as a way to lose weight and improve health. The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that forces the body to burn fat for energy instead of carbs. This metabolic state is known as ketosis.
When following a keto diet, it’s important to choose foods that are low in carbs and high in fat. This includes healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds. It’s also important to avoid sugary foods, even those labeled as “sugar-free.” Artificial sweeteners can still cause an insulin response which disrupts ketosis.
Salad dressings are a keto dieter’s friend, adding flavor and fat to vegetable-based salads. But finding truly keto-friendly dressings can be tricky with so many products containing hidden sugars. This article will take a close look at G Hughes Sugar Free salad dressings to determine if they can be part of a healthy keto diet.
What is G Hughes Sugar Free Salad Dressing?
G Hughes Smokehouse is a company that makes a variety of salad dressings, marinades, dips and condiments. They offer a line of salad dressings labeled as “sugar-free” including:1
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Sesame Ginger Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Red Wine Vinaigrette
These dressings are sweetened with the artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda) instead of sugar. Sucralose provides the sweet taste of sugar without the carbohydrates and calories.
In addition to sucralose, the ingredients in G Hughes dressings include:1
- Soybean oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Spices and seasonings
- Natural flavors
- Potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (preservatives)
- Xanthan gum
- Citric acid
The nutrition facts show that a 2 tablespoon (30 mL) serving of these dressings provides between 45-60 calories, 4.5-5g fat, 3-4g carbs, 2-3g fiber, less than 1g sugar and 80-170mg sodium. The ingredients and nutrition facts suggest these dressings are lower in sugar and carbs compared to regular salad dressings.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Keto-Friendly?
One of the main concerns with G Hughes dressings is the use of the artificial sweetener sucralose. Is this keto-friendly or should it be avoided?
Most experts agree that small amounts of artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, saccharin and stevia can be included in a keto diet. Some of the benefits include:2,3
- They provide sweet taste without added calories or carbohydrates.
- They do not directly impact blood glucose or insulin levels.
- They may help satisfy sweet cravings during the keto transition period.
However, there are a couple potential downsides:
- Artificial sweeteners may increase cravings for ultra-sweet foods.
- Some studies link frequent artificial sweetener use to increased appetite, hunger and body weight over time.
The key seems to be moderation. Having an occasional serving of artificially sweetened food or drink is unlikely to affect ketosis or health. But relying on them heavily could potentially backfire.
Nutritional Profile of G Hughes Dressings
To determine if a food fits into a keto diet, it’s important to look past the “sugar-free” label and examine the complete nutritional profile. Here is how G Hughes dressings stack up:
G Hughes dressings contain 4.5-5g of fat per 2 tablespoon serving. This comes mostly from soybean oil and olive oil. While not extremely high in fat like some keto dressings, this amount can help meet keto macronutrient goals.
There are 3-4g net carbs in each serving. While not zero carb, this carb content is reasonable for a keto diet. The fiber in the dressings also blunts the glycemic impact of the residual sugars.
There are 0g of protein per serving. Protein doesn’t directly impact ketosis but can help satisfy hunger. Adding protein foods like chicken, eggs or cheese to a salad alongside the dressing provides more staying power.
The dressings provide small amounts of certain micronutrients:
- 4-8% DV potassium
- 2-6% DV iron
- 2-4% DV calcium
These nutrients won’t make a huge difference to your daily total but can add up over the course of a day.
The glycemic index (GI) measures how much a food increases blood glucose levels. Low GI foods are preferred on a keto diet.
Salad dressings don’t have a direct GI value since they are consumed in small quantities along with other foods. However, among the ingredients:
- Soybean oil has a neutral GI of 0.
- Balsamic vinegar has an estimated GI of 49.
- Sucralose has a GI of 0.
This suggests the dressings themselves will have a low glycemic impact and are unlikely to disrupt ketosis.
Effect on Ketosis
To maintain ketosis, daily carb intake should be limited to around 50g net carbs or less. With 3-4g net carbs per serving, G Hughes dressings can easily fit into this limit.
There are no blood glucose or ketone testing data specific to these dressings. However, sucralose and other artificial sweeteners generally do not affect blood ketones directly. Any effect would be indirect by increasing appetite or cravings.
Overall, consuming dressings in reasonable portions is unlikely to kick you out of ketosis. They will have little impact on blood sugar or insulin compared to dressings with sugar.
Potential Benefits of G Hughes Dressings
Here are some potential benefits of choosing G Hughes sugar-free dressings on a keto diet:
G Hughes dressings are widely available at major grocery stores, making following a keto diet more convenient. Homemade dressings can be time consuming.
These dressings provide flavorful, sweet taste without added sugar. This makes it easier to stick to keto by satisfying cravings for sweet, tangy salad dressings.
Low Sugar and Carbs
With only 1g sugar and 3-4g net carbs per serving, these dressings can keep salads low carb and ketogenic.
There are no overtly non-keto ingredients like corn syrup or wheat. The ingredients represent foods generally encouraged on a keto diet.
Potential Downsides of G Hughes Dressings
Here are a few potential downsides to consider:
Sucralose is avoided by some due to concerns over digestive issues or increased cravings. Use your own judgment on whether artificial sweeteners are right for your body.
Not Whole Foods
These dressings are more processed than a homemade olive oil and vinegar dressing. Some prefer to stick to less processed “real” foods.
Contains Seed Oils
The dressings contain soybean oil which some keto experts advise limiting due to the high omega-6 content.
Higher Omega-6 Ratios
The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in soybean oil is very high. Some prefer dressings with a better fatty acid balance.
Best Keto Salad Dressing Options
Here are some ideal salad dressing choices for a ketogenic diet:
Olive Oil and Vinegar
A simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and seasonings makes an excellent keto dressing. Balsamic, red wine, rice wine and apple cider vinegars pair well with olive oil.
Look for brands made with avocado oil or olive oil. Beware of added sugars in some commercial mayo.
Blue Cheese Dressing
Made from cheese, buttermilk and yogurt, blue cheese dressing supplies healthy fats. Just confirm there are no high-carb thickeners.
Many brands make keto-friendly Caesar dressings without added sugars. The Parmesan cheese provides plenty of rich flavor.
Creamy Avocado Dressing
Quick homemade recipe: blend together avocado, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and seasonings.
Whisk tahini with lemon juice, garlic and olive oil for a creamy, nutty dressing. Sesame adds vitamin E.
Made with avocado oil, herbs and vinegar. It’s thick and tangy.
Ranch made with real mayo and buttermilk, plus crumbled bacon. Watch added sugars.
Coconut Cream Dressing
Mix full-fat coconut milk with vinegar and spices for a thick, tasty dressing.
Is G Hughes Sugar Free Dressing Keto-Friendly? The Verdict
Overall, G Hughes sugar-free salad dressings can be part of a healthy ketogenic diet when consumed in moderation, but they may not be ideal for every person.
The pros are convenience, better flavor than plain oil and vinegar, low in sugar and carbs compared to regular dressings.
Potential cons are use of processed seed oils, reliance on artificial sweeteners, and higher omega-6 ratios.
G Hughes dressings are a good transition option when first starting keto. They help satisfy sweet cravings without kicking you out of ketosis.
For some, they may be an occasional treat or shortcut. But many keto followers prefer to stick to unprocessed, homemade dressings using healthy fats for better nutrition.
As with any food choice, your personal carb tolerance, ingredients preferences and health goals determine what works for your body.
The Bottom Line
- G Hughes sugar free dressings are relatively low in carbs and will not break ketosis when used moderately.
- They can help satisfy cravings when first transitioning to a keto diet.
- Some keto experts advise limiting seed oils and artificial sweeteners found in these dressings.
- Make your own judgment based on your body’s response. Homemade dressings with no sweeteners may be optimal for some.