: Fatty salad dressings aren’t so bad for you?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Oils in salad dressings help your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in vegetables, making them a good choice for topping your salad.
WHAT WE KNOW
You’ve just made a beautiful salad with spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots and tomato. This healthy creation is finished with a drizzle of fat-free dressing. While enjoying the salad, visions of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals racing into your bloodstream fill your head. New research has given this story a different ending. The fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A,D,E, & K), carotenoids, pigments found in fruits and vegetables like lycopene and beta carotene that benefit you, need a bit of fat to be absorbed.
The fat-soluble vitamins play a variety of roles in your body and carotenoids have been thought to decrease the risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and the progression of macular degeneration.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
Researchers from Iowa State fed 29 people a salad with three different amounts of three different oils. They used saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat (corn oil) and monounsaturated fat (canola oil). After eating, their blood was tested for absorption of fat-soluble carotenoids. The researchers found that the more fat that was consumed with the fruits and vegetables, the greater the absorption of carotenoids.
A salad drowning in dressing is not a wise choice when it comes to a low-calorie meal, but a well-dressed salad is luscious! Next time you’re dressing your salad, trying using a low-fat dressing or a vinaigrette made with olive oil, avocado oil, or canola oil.
For those who want more dressing control, one technique is to get the dressing on the side and dip your fork in the dressing before picking up a forkful of salad. Each mouthful will then have a bit of dressing for taste and nutrient delivery, but fewer calories.
Not a fan of salad dressings? Add extras like almonds, a sprinkle of cheese, or grilled chicken strips and it is still a nutrient-rich, low-calorie meal!
Try these 5 summer salads, our Grilled Lamb Salad, or any of our healthy salad recipes!