A collection of lettuce leaves, healthy vegetables full of important nutrients, plus NO FAT – you can’t get more healthy than that !
Researchers from Purdue University suggest it’s time to rethink the idea of eating a salad without fat.
It is just lettuce leaves without the fat
The Purdue University team had 29 volunteers over for salads. They mixed and matched a collection of greens, tomatoes and carrots for the participants to enjoy.
The same salad was served with a variety of different salad dressings.
Blood samples were drawn, a little while after the salad feast, to see, just how many of the power packed phytonutrients had made it into the salad eaters.
The team was particularly interested in tracking the levels of the carotenoid family of phytonutrients. The carotenoids include compounds such as lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, these nutrients make you see good, look good and protect you from those dreaded diseases, like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The big fat truth behind salad dressings
Oops the carotenoids go AWOL, when there is little or no fat, in the dressing. Well that is what happened to these salad munching peeps.
Fat was a pre-requisite for the carotenoids to make it out the lettuce leaves and into the blood stream. This is to be expected, because these compounds are classified as fat soluble vitamins.
The researchers found, the more fat spritzed on the salad, the more carotenoids were absorbed.
Intestingly enough, the type of fat used i.e. saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated was not all that important. So dressing the salad in butter or canola oil, made little difference to carotenoid absorption. The key ingredient needed for the salad dressing was FAT.
A salad without fat has few benefits
Eating plain old lettuce leaves, really doesn’t taste terribly good. Yup, the calorie count is seriously low, but so is the nutrient count, so munching on those lettuce leaves is just giving your mouth something to do.
A body needs real food
Happy, healthy energized bodies need both calories and nutrients.
If you’re on a mission to CUT calories, cut out the nutrient poor, calorie rich foods, like sweets, cookies and sugar laden cold drinks, rather opt for nutrient dense foods calories.
Aim to make your calories pack a nutrition punch……….. so oil that salad, it’s good for you.Meal triacylglycerol profile modulates postprandial absorption of carotenoids in humans. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, (2012) 56 (6): 866 Shellen R. Goltz, Wayne W. Campbell, Chureeporn Chitchumroonchokchai, Mark L. Failla, Mario G. Ferruzzi.
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