Don't toss out the oil when you toss your salad
Finally... a bit of good news.
The talking heads of the mainstream are finally catching on that carbs -- NOT fats -- are the primary culprit in expanding waistlines and chronic diseases like diabetes.
This is a welcome change from the past few decades, the time of the "low-fat craze" when we were told that skim milk was in... nuts were out... and if you were going to dress your salad, you had to use something fat-free (or, at least, with reduced fat).
And since eating salad is hard enough for some folks -- much less without any dressing at all -- most people complied.
But according to a new study, you'd be better off dousing your greens with a glug of olive oil -- because fats can actually BOOST the health benefits of your veggies by helping your body absorb their nutrients.
In the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a group of women ate salads with varying amounts of oil, from none to about two tablespoons.
When the researchers tested their blood, it turned out that as the amount of oil on their salads climbed, so did their blood levels of seven nutrients: alpha and beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin K, and two forms of vitamin E.
Not only that, but the oil also kicked up their levels of vitamin A, which your body makes from alpha- and beta-carotene.
And that's fantastic news, because studies have shown that many of these nutrients can help preserve your eyesight... fortify your immunity... and even protect you from cancer as you age.
Fat unlocks these benefits because many vitamins are "fat-soluble," which means they actually NEED fat to get broken down in your stomach and soaked up by the rest of your body.
So, when it comes to salads and other veggie dishes, drizzle on some oil... to keep your "machine" well-oiled!
Now, I wouldn't necessarily recommend what the study used, which was soybean oil, often found in commercial salad dressings. Soybeans can be genetically modified, and their oil can be highly processed and even hydrogenated.
A better choice would be olive oil, which studies show lowers your risk of diabetes, slashes your risk of heart disease, and fights inflammation. Look for a high-quality olive oil that's "cold-pressed" and "extra-virgin," so that you know it's minimally processed.
Avocado oil and grapeseed oil are also tasty choices with a barrel of benefits.
Just be sure to read the labels of store-bought salad dressings carefully -- because even if they use one of these good oils, they can still be PACKED with sugar and food additives.
Better yet, make your own dressing at home with a splash of oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of herbs.
And try adding some heart-healthy nuts to your salads for crunchy texture... and an extra fat boost.