Your low fat dressing may not be as good for you as you think!!
Choosing a low-fat dressing for your salad might help with keeping the calories down but a recent study suggests you could be missing out on some other health benefits.
It found higher-fat dressings help the body to absorb more carotenoids, compounds that are found in vegetables that are linked with a reduced risk of ill health, particularly degenerative diseases and heart conditions. They are fabulous antioxidants but they are fat soluble like vitamins D, E and K – as such it makes sense that to help these absorb into the body they need fat.
The study, undertaken by Iowa State University involved feeding 29 people salads dressed with butter, high in saturated fat, canola oil for monounsaturated fat, and corn oil for polyunsaturated fat. Each salad had three grams, eight grams or twenty grams of fat.
With the exception of canola oil, the more fat that was used the more carotenoids were absorbed and therefore, it follows, the healthier the salad. The study’s professor, Mario Ferruzzi said “If you want to utilise more from your vegetables, you have to pair them correctly with fat-based dressings.”
“If you have a salad with a fat-free dressing, there is a reduction in calories, but you lose some of the benefits of the vegetables. You can absorb significant amounts of carotenoids with saturated or polyunsaturated fats at low levels, but you would see more carotenoid absorption as you increase the amounts of those fats on a salad.”