Get maximum nutrition and stay full longer with these salad add-ons.

By the editors of Huffington Post Healthy Living
Updated: July 09, 2012

Recently, researchers from Purdue University released a study that showed why fat is an essential part of any salad. They argued that low- and no-fat salad dressings made the vitamins and nutrients in greens and veggies less available to the body. That's because carotenoids-a class of nutrient that includes lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin-is fat soluble and can't be absorbed by the body unless it's delivered with some fat as well.

But that doesn't mean you should pull out the Ranch and blue cheese dressing just yet. Researchers discovered that certain types of fats were more efficient at drawing out the nutrients, meaning that a salad didn't have to become a high-fat affair.

Related: 15 Bad Excuses Women Make for Not Eating Healthy

"You can absorb significant amounts of carotenoids with saturated or polyunsaturated fats at low levels, but you would see more carotenoid absorption as you increase the amounts of those fats on a salad," said lead researcher Mario Ferruzzi, an associate professor of food science at Purdue, in a statement. The secret? Using monounsaturated fats, which aided nutrient absorption, even in a small portion size of three grams.

We covered the study here and readers weighed in about their favorite salad fats in the comments. Using those and a host of other options culled from the USDA database, we've compiled a list of great fats to include in your next salad to maximize vitamin absorption without overstepping your daily allowance:

Avocado

An avocado has 30 grams of unsaturated fat, and while estimates vary, about 16 of those are monounsaturated. That means that you need just one-quarter of one fruit-to get optimal lycopene, beta-carotene and other antioxidant absorption.

Olive Oil

Just a third of a teaspoon will yield 3.3 grams of monounsaturated fats and, along with it, polyphenols and vitamin E.

Related:5 Weird Weight Loss Questions Answered

Olives

Though they pack a salty wallop with 400 milligrams of sodium per 10 olives, that same serving offers 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat.

Cashews

Half an ounce, or about nine cashews, yields 4 grams of monounsaturated fats, as well as a healthy dose of magnesium and phosphorous, which are essential to good bone health. The nut also includes tryptophan, which can help regulate sleep cycles and is thought to enhance mood. Not bad for a salad topper!

Fresh Cheeses

A third of a cup of whole-milk ricotta includes 3 grams of monounsaturated fats, according to a USDA database. For less fat per volume, try half a cup of part-skim ricotta or two ounces of whole-milk mozzarella.

Related:How to Make Fresh Foods Last Longer

Tahini

One tablespoon of tahini contains 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, along with a healthy serving of magnesium.

Chopped Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are so rich in monounsaturated fat that you'd need only a fifth of an ounce-or about two nuts-to reach 3 grams of monounsaturated fats.

Other Oils

One third of a tablespoon of canola oil, half a tablespoon of peanut oil, and just over a tablespoon of sunflower oil all contain about 3 grams of monounsaturated fat.

More from Huffington Post

50 of the Healthiest Foods in the World

7 Foods that Can Add Years to Your Life

The Fruits and Veggies with the Most Pesticides

Advertisement


Comments (3)

Anonymous
January 13, 2019
Excepturi optio autem optio consequatur. 💖 Ever heard of the Keto diet? I started using the advice at WWW.KETOCOOKBOOK.ORG and lost 25 pounds of fat in a month! I’ve never lost weight so fast!! The Keto Diet really is amazing because it forces the body to always burn fat for energy — so you lose the fat and keep it off. If you want to lose some weight, I highly recommend using that website :) Check it out! Best of luck to you! 💖
Anonymous
November 3, 2018
hey i found a rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks!!! watch this video here -> 3weeksdiets.net
Anonymous
October 27, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? you can burn 1.2lbs daily and It only takes 13-seconds! watch this video : flatbelydetox.net