Different Foods Questions and Facts

Nutritional Benefits Through Fat Addition

Maximizing Nutritional Benefits Through Fat Addition

Adding healthy fats to your salads is a simple way to elevate them from a bland side dish to a vital part of a nutritious diet. Not only do fats help you absorb more nutrients, but they also make salads more filling, flavorful, and satisfying.

From Flavor to Functionality

Think about it - a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil can transform plain salad greens into a gourmet experience. Those same fats also help your body extract and utilize the beneficial phytonutrients hiding in those greens.

Other tasty and nutritious fat sources to try in your salads include:

  • Sliced avocado

  • Chopped nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios

  • Seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, or hemp hearts

  • Olives

  • Soft cheeses like feta or goat cheese

The Phytonutrient Extraction Process

So, how exactly do fats help extract phytonutrients from vegetables? It all starts in your small intestine. When you eat a salad with fat, the fat stimulates your gallbladder to release bile, which helps emulsify the fat and prepare it for digestion.

Tiny micelles act like magnets for fat-soluble phytonutrients as the fat is broken down. The micelles help transport the phytonutrients across the intestinal wall and into your bloodstream, where they can be distributed throughout your body.

Without fat, those valuable phytonutrients would pass through your digestive system without absorption. That's why a fat-free salad is essentially a wasted opportunity for nutrition.

The bottom line? Don't be afraid to add some healthy fats to your salad bowl. Your taste buds - and your body - will thank you.

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Last updated: May 23, 2024 14:07 PM