For those thinking about balancing a rich holiday meal by choosing a low- or no-fat salad dressing, consider this: To get the most nutrients from leafy greens and vegetables, we need to pair them with a healthy fat. A recent Purdue University study showed that the more “good” fat there was in a salad, the more carotenoids diners absorbed.
The researchers found that vegetable oils rich in monounsaturated fats like olive oil,
or polyunsaturated fats like sunflower oil, help the body absorb essential carotenoids and other nutrients and increase their bioavailability in the intestines. The study also found that eating bread with butter with a salad was also beneficial, although to a lesser extent.