Trying to shed pounds by eating no fat or fat free foods? While many of us try to keep healthy by piling on the fresh greens and veggies to our salads, those non-fat dressings most dieters tend to use can actually be preventing them from absorbing all of the great minerals and vitamins these heart healthy salads can offer.
Last week, researchers from Purdue University released a new study that demonstrated why some fat is an important ingredient in any salad. The study found that salads rich with healthy, monounsaturated fats, provide the most nutritional value for you. The reason being is that many vegetables contain health-promoting carotenoids that are best absorbed by the body when paired with a healthy fat. Carotenoids aid in cancer prevention, protect us from heart disease and have potent anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties. They also help keep our immune systems healthy.
Sources of Monounsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated fats can be found in many foods that are derived from plant sources such as peanut, canola and olive oil. Monounsaturated fats, especially when they take the place of saturated fats in food, can bring your LDL or bad cholesterol number down without hurting your HDL or good cholesterol number.
Additional sources of monounsaturated fats include:
- Macadamia nuts
Adding Monounsaturated Fats to Your Meals
It’s especially easy to add sources of monounsaturated fats to salad. Choose all natural salad dressings made with olive oil, sunflower or safflower oil, sprinkle almonds or chopped pecans on your greens or slice up some fresh avocado. The same foods can be added to veggie wraps or rice dishes.
Adding monounsaturated, healthy fats to your salads and other meals will help you maximize vitamin absorption while benefiting from the incredible anti-oxidant power they offer.
Vitamins, carotenoids and anti-oxidants are all key ingredients in healthy aging as well as looking and feeling your best. All natural foods tend to use higher quality ingredients, which is where you can find monounsaturated fats. Visit the all natural section of your grocery store or the organic health store nearest you.