If you don’t want all those nutritious, fat-soluble vitamins in your salad to go to waste, be sure you use the right kind of fat in your dressing. A new Purdue University study compared the amount of vitamin A and carotenoids (fat-soluble nutrients) absorbed with various amounts of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They discovered that salads dressed with just 3 grams of monounsaturated fat promoted as much carotenoid absorption as 20 grams of the other types of fat. Canola and olive oils contain the most monounsaturated fat of the oils, so choose salad dressings containing these types of fats.
An added bonus to using monounsaturated fat is that it will lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) but not the good stuff (HDL cholesterol). So in addition to dressing your salads with this type of fat, also use it whenever cooking requires oil. Remember to use sparingly, though, since all oils and fats contain 9 calories per gram – more than twice that of carbohydrates and proteins.
(Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, June 29, 2012)