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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Do you need fat in your diet?

Many of us are trying to cut back on calories and thus cut back on fat calories.  But do you need some fat?  The answer is yes.   Fat is important for many reasons but one is that fat soluble vitamins need some fat to be absorbed.  Thus, you may not want to use a fat-free dressing on your salad but a dressing with some fat.  If you want to cut back on fat calories, you can choose the light or reduced fat version of dressing and not the fat-free version.  

In the classes I teach, many students come up with a snack for kids of carrots and Fat-Free Ranch Dressing.  Carrots are a healthy food but serving it with Fat-free Ranch means you won’t be absorbing all the nutrients in those carrots.  Not to mention the child will be hungry in no time as carrots are low in calories and Fat-Free Ranch also is low in calories.  Are there health benefits to using salad dressings with some fat such as regular Ranch or Light Ranch dressing?

A Little Fat Helps the Vegetables Go Down so notes an article at WebMD.   The subtitle is:  Eating Salads with Fat-Free Dressings May Rob the Body of Nutrients”.   They note eating salad dressing with some fat may be better for your overall health than fat free dressing.  You need some fat to absorb the nutrients found in vegetables like the healthy lycopene and carotene.  If you choose to eat your salad with fat-free dressing, you may not be absorbing these healthy nutrients.  

Doesn’t mean you need a high fat diet and most Americans eat too much fat.  But it does mean you can enjoy some oil, or fat in your salad dressing.  Vegetables are naturally low in fat so to absorb the healthy nutrients you need some fat with your meal.  So enjoy some low fat or regular dressing with your salad and forgo the fat-free dressing.

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