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Is that right? Wish-Bone dressings help you absorb nutrients?

Current ads for Wish-Bone salad dressings claim "the oils in Wish-Bone help the body better absorb vitamins A and E from salad vegetables as compared to a salad without dressing!"

That's actually right.

As I write in next week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column about mayonnaise, fat-soluble vitamins such as A and E that are found in the kinds of vegetables you'd include in a salad, such as dark leafy greens and carrots, are best absorbed by the body when eaten with some fat.

It's best for your body if that fat can be a vegetable oil such as soybean, olive or canola. Eaten in moderation (because they're so caloric), both can benefit your cardiovascular system. Wish-Bone dressings feature various combinations of soybean and either canola or olive oil. (To see nutrition facts and ingredients go to the Product Information section of this Web page.) According to their Web site, Wish-Bone dressings contain up to 180 calories, 18g fat, 3g saturated fat and 340 mg sodium per two-tablespoon serving.

There's no magic in Wish-Bone. You can get the same nutrient-absorption effect from a nice, home-made vinaigrette. The extra bonus to making your own: You can control the amount of salt and other ingredients (perhaps skipping the sugar found in the store-bought stuff, for instance). Plus, it's really easy.

Either way, if using a favorite dressing encourages you to eat more vegetables, that's a good thing. As always, just be mindful of portion sizes, as caloric dressings can add up quickly and turn a healthful salad into a waistline expander.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  July 9, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Is That Right? , Nutrition and Fitness  
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Does caffeine really boost sports performance?

Posted by: chylton | July 9, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

So how much, then, is effective on a daily basis? Would one teaspoon of vinaigrette, or of oil, anyway -- one point on the Weight Watchers plan -- do the trick? Hate using up more than a point per meal on fat ...

Posted by: khk918 | July 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm skeptical because very few people would have a plain raw vegetable salad as a meal. Even absent dressing, the salad will likely contain nuts, meat, cheese, olives, croutons or some other high fat food. And even if the salad is only straight vegetables, there's going to be a side dish (garlic bread, hamburger, cottage cheese, etc.) or dessert or coffee with cream, something with a little or a lot of fat, and that will serve just as well as extra dressing to make fat-soluble vitamins available.

Only an extreme dieter or eating disordered person would regularly consume straight raw vegetables with no additional source of fat. We humans love (and need) fat/oil too much. It's gonna find it's way into our meals, so please don't think you need to pour on the dressing, unless you happen to fall into one of the above categories.

Posted by: Nutmeg2 | July 10, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The new marketing schemes of long standing food companies is to profess everything to be "healthy", when actually it is the same stuff it has always been but the company is trying to hold onto anything healthy as a new twist. Shop smart and make the best choices possible.

Posted by: evolutiontotalwellness | July 13, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

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