Eating Fat… Better for you than you thought (February 2019)
How often are you at a restaurant asking for extra sauce, salad dressing or mayonnaise? Or, how often are you asking the server to put all condiments on the side due to preference, fear, or flavor bias?
New research has indicated that adding oil helped to improve the absorption of seven different micronutrients in salad vegetables. These micronutrients include four carotenoids, alpha and beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene, all of which are found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as carrots, yams, apricots, mango, and squash, to name a few. The study also found improved absorption of two forms of vitamin E and vitamin K as well as vitamin A, which formed in the intestine from the alpha and beta carotene.
The study was conducted by researcher Wendy White, Ph.D. from Iowa State University, who also teaches food science and human nutrition at the university. It involved 12 college age women who ate salads with various amounts of soybean oil. They had their blood tested and the study showed that women metabolize the nutrients more efficiently. The study also showed that 32 grams of oil, approximately 2 tablespoons, was the maximum amount absorbed.
This research shows that fat is crucial in promoting absorption of the nutrients in our food, as an individual that consumes the same salad without the fat added will absorb less of these important nutrients.
This study supports what I like to remind clients of: “fat is your friend and will promote satiety.” If we add fat to our meals, we will become filled up sooner and satisfied longer, plus we will absorb these important and beneficial nutrients. More oil means more of the absorption of these various nutrients.
Diet culture touts the messages of “low fat” or “non fat,” making people think that fat is the enemy, but this study proves that fat plays an important role. As a non-diet nutrition therapist, I like to promote this truth and inform my clients of the reality that all foods can exist within their diet! It is all about embracing variety and enjoying all foods!
I hope this information helps you to feel comfortable about eating flavorful and tasty vegetables with fat. Bon Appetite!
- White, Wendy (2017). Iowa State University researcher finds further evidence that fats and oils help to unlock full nutritional benefits of veggies.