Soak up your nutrients with olive oil 

Here’s some good news for those who think they should be eating plain, undressed salads: using an olive oil-based dressing is better both for health and for staying a healthy weight.

Including fats in food increases our absorption of micronutrients, and olive oil is one of the best choices of fat sources, since it is so beneficial for health overall. Using olive oil, either as a dressing or drizzled over your food, will boost the absorption of key fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K, lycopene, and beta-carotene. We need these for immunity, heart health and cancer, which may be one reason why low-fat diets have been linked with poor health.

In the Mediterranean, where hearts are kept young and vibrant with lots of tasty Greek salads and other Mediterranean cooking, olive oil is always on the table, ready for drizzling over salads or cooked dishes. The pleasure-loving Greeks and Italians would never think of eating a boring dieter’s salad.

A double benefit is that olive oil is linked with weight loss, thanks to its satiating effect. This means that adding a delicious dressing to your salad should not cause you to put on extra pounds – in fact the opposite is the case. 

A good amount to aim for is a couple of tablespoons daily. Use raw extra-virgin olive oil and keep it on the table in a drizzler or make dressings to use with steamed vegetables and salads. 

Olive oil dressing

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

Add the ingredients together and mix well. 

By writer and nutritionist Sally Beare