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Salads are often thought of as the perfect health food - at their core, a pile of vegetables. Even if covered with candied walnuts, blue cheese, rich dressing, and fruit, we can usually delude ourselves into thinking we are eating healthy (and most of the time we are). This week, The Atlantic reports that adding fatty dressing might even increase the healthfulness of the vegetables in question.
Most vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and vitamins - in the case of salad, carotenoids. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses. The absorption of these nutrients is based largely on the material with which they are digested, and it seems that richer dressings, which contain higher levels of fat, allow the absorption of more of these carotenoids. The best dressing base? Canola oil (or any other monounsaturated fat).
"So if you're looking for a reason to ditch that bland and fat-free excuse for a salad dressing in your fridge, this looks like a pretty good one. It's more evidence that our bodies, which are hardwired to seek out flavor, can sometimes be surprisingly good at picking what's best for it."
Make Your Vegetables Even Healthier With...Fatty Salad Dressing? from The Atlantic