We’ve become so “fat phobic” in this country that we have thrown out the good (fat) with the bad! And that’s to our detriment. Let’s talk about salads. Healthy and full of vitamins and minerals – the best form of carbs to round out a healthy meal. We get organic vegetables and make a masterpiece and then top it with low fat bottled dressing full of artificial chemicals and additives, not to mention bad fats.
Those awesome veggies are loaded with carotenoids like lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Those are nutritional powerhouses – but they are fat-soluble. That means they need a healthy form of fat to enable us to fully absorb them.
An interesting study used different types of fat (saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated) on salads loaded with these nutrients to see which fat most effectively unlocked the benefits. They found using a monounsaturated-rich dressing required the least amount of fat to get the most carotenoid absorption. Olive oil based dressings promoted the same carotenoid absorption at 3 grams of fat as it did at 20 grams. You can use less and get the same benefits. Here’s the perfect use for extra virgin olive oil! Combine it with apple cider or balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and some herbs – talk about a masterpiece!
What’s your favorite salad dressing?