Salads Covered in Full-fat Dressing are Healthier, Study Claims

Salad is the foundation of any diet plan. Many weight loss aspirants often add low-fat dressings to make their salad more nutritious and to satiate their taste buds. If you too think low-fat salad dressings are healthier, then think again! It’s actually a full-fat dressing that makes your salad more nutritious!

You read it right! A latest study has revealed that salads with full-fat dressing can lead to more nutrient absorption. What’s more, the amount of full-fat dressing added in the form of soybean oil to the salad has great impact on the amount of nutrient absorption. In other word, more oil means more absorption.

The findings of the study showed that adding fat-rich soybean oil to your salad boosts the absorption of seven important micronutrients that are associated with numerous health benefits including healthy intestine, cancer prevention and eyesight preservation.

According to the study, conducted by researchers at Iowa State University in the US, these vital micronutrients include four carotenoids-which are alpha and beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene- two forms of vitamin E and vitamin K.

In the study, the full-fat soybean oil appeared to promote the absorption of vitamin A that was induced by alpha and beta carotene in the intestine.

To reach their findings, the researchers looked at the salads of 12 college-age female students, who ate a variety of salads each day with various levels of soybean oil.

Investigators found that adding more full-fat oil to the salad resulted in the more absorption of the nutrients.

“The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption,” said Wendy White, Associate Professor at the Iowa State University.

The findings showed that 32 grams of oil, or slightly more than two tablespoons, which was the highest amount examined in the study, led to maximal absorption of nutrient in the vegetables.

In contrast, eating the same salad without the additional oil dressing lessened the possibility that the body will absorb the required nutrients. “In the absence of other sources of fat, the amount of fat in fat-free and reduced-fat salad dressings can be limiting in terms of the bioavailability of carotenoids,” said the authors.

However, White and colleagues found some variability among the study subjects. “For most people, this oil will benefit the absorption of nutrients. The average trend, which is statistically significant, is to improve absorption,” said White.

The study appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.