The song says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but an Iowa State University scientist has published new research suggesting a spoonful of oil makes vegetables more nutritious.
A new study led by Wendy White, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition, shows that eating salad with added fat in the form of soybean oil promotes the absorption of eight different micronutrients that promote human health. Conversely, eating the same salad without the added oil lessens the likelihood that the body will absorb the nutrients. The results may ease the guilt of countless dieters who fret about adding dressing to their salads.
Whites study found added oil aided in the absorption of seven different micronutrients in salad vegetables. Those nutrients include four carotenoids alpha and beta carotene, lutein and lycopene two forms of vitamin E and vitamin K. The oil also promoted the absorption of vitamin A, the eighth micronutrient tracked in the study, which formed in the intestine from the alpha and beta carotene. The new study builds on previous research from Whites group that focused on alpha and beta carotene and lycopene.
White said better absorption of the nutrients promotes a range of health benefits, including cancer prevention and eyesight preservation.
The study also found that the amount of oil added to the vegetables had a proportional relationship with the amount of nutrient absorption. That is, more oil means more absorption.
The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption, White said.
That doesnt give salad eaters license to drench their greens in dressing, she cautioned. But she said consumers should be perfectly comfortable with the U.S. dietary recommendation of about two tablespoons of oil per day.
Iowa State Universityhttp://tinyurl.com/y73ftsl8