Dressing a Salad for Carotenoid Absorption

From a health standpoint, it’s tough to beat a vegetable-packed salad. But you may need to top it with enough of a fat-based dressing to get more of the vegetables’ healthy fat-soluble compounds, suggests a new study. 

The study focused on a handful of the fat-soluble carotenoids, such as lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Lab studies show these compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And AICR’s expert report and its updates show that eating foods containing carotenoids lowers the risk of mouth, pharynx, and lung cancers.

The study was published online in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

In the study, 29 people ate salads topped with three dressings high in different fats: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated. The dressings for each fat were canola oil, soybean oil, and butter, respectively. Salads were served with varying amounts of each dressing to represent low-fat (3 grams), moderate (8 grams), and high fat (20 grams). A tablespoon of oil is 14 grams. Continue reading