Most of the smart Nutrientology readers know the importance of limited carbohydrates for the best pre diabetes diet plan due to the carbohydrate intolerance that defines diabetes and prediabetes metabolic syndrome.
Vegetable containing salads are a foundational part of healthy eating, and most of us use some type of salad dressing, but do you know which is the best dressing to improve a salad’s nutritional benefit?
People limiting carbohydrate food need to get energy from eating healthy fats such as olive oil. Well, it just so happens that olive oil has been used as a salad dressing for a long time, and for good reason – Fat containing salad dressings have a positive impact on how well salad nutrients are absorbed.
Researchers have investigated the effect of different types of fat used in salad dressing, and how it affects the absorption of nutrients from salads. One nutrient recently evaluated was a class of plant compounds known as carotenoids.
Salad Dressing Study:
- Butter (saturated fat)
- Canola oil (mostly monounsaturated fatty acids)
- Soybean oil (mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids)
It turned out that the source of fat (lipid) had less impact on the absorption of carotenoids than the amount of fat, although the monounsaturated fat (MUFA) dressing had especially good results suggesting that this lipid source may be the better choice.
The more popular and conventional olive oil contains MUFAs that will do the trick. Plain ol’ oil and vinegar dressing has been around forever for a reason. It’s amazing to me how often nutritional advice goes back to what has been done for years and years. Our ancestors had a way of empirically figuring things out regarding food and health that is really quite amazing.
Another common practice with salads is to add meat. This provides added fat as well as protein and really creates a complete meal.
There are many other nutrients that are absorbed better with fat-based dressings including fat soluble vitamins.
Is this another example of how the fat-free craze is negatively affecting the health of Americans? A fat-free dressing may have less calories, but nutrient absorption suffers.
And do the added calories really matter? Not all calories are created equal. First think about the quality of the food you are eating, then think about calories. In most cases, “quality takes care of quantity” through natural satiety mechanisms.