Choosing a salad consisting of nutritionally dense vegetables and greens doesn’t assure that your body will efficiently absorb the nutrients in your salad bowl.
Research at Purdue University concluded that monounsaturated fats, found in abundance in olive or canola oils, are most effective in liberating the fat-soluble nutritional elements in salads.
The study compared dressings with higher percentages of saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat at three different levels of fats.
The blood of twenty-nine volunteers was tested for levels of fat-soluble carotenoids such as Vitamin A after they’d eaten salads dressed with various oils.
Salads dressed with only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat promoted as much carotenoid absorption as those dressed with 20 grams of saturated or polyunsaturated fats.
Scientists cautioned that in choosing low-fat or no-fat salad dressings, you may be cutting out nutrients as well as fats.
My Take on the information: Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble. If you aren’t taking in some fat in your meal when you ingest foods rich in these vitamins, you might as well rub the foods in your hair for all the good they’ll do your body.
Similarly, if you take your multi-vitamin with only a cup of coffee or glass of orange juice, you’ll get the benefit of only Vitamins B and C.
If the fat in your meal consists of polyunsaturated or saturated fats, you’re leaving a lot of nutrition on the table, even if the food is in your belly and adding to your girth.
Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Update, September 2012 And other sources Study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, August 2012