Eggs in Salad Helps Body Absorb Vegetable Carotenoids
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., June 5 (UPI) — Adding eggs to a salad helps the body absorb more carotenoids, fat-soluble nutrients that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, from raw vegetables, according to a new study.
Lipids in salad dressing also help in the absorption of carotenoids, however it’s easy to use too much dressing and over-consume calories or to use dressings with less fat than the body needs, researchers said.
“Most people do not eat enough vegetables in their diets, and at the same time, people are consuming salad dressings that have less fat or are fat-free,” said Jung Eun Kim, a postdoctoral researcher in Purdue’s Department of Nutrition Science, in a press release.
“Our research findings support that people obtained more of the health-promoting carotenoids from raw vegetables when cooked whole eggs were also consumed. Eggs, a nutrient-rich food containing essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins, may be used to increase the nutritive value of vegetables, which are under consumed by the majority of people living in the United States.”
Three salads were served to 16 participants in the study: One with no eggs, one with one and a half eggs, and one with three eggs. The eggs in each salad were scrambled, so that both the egg white and yolk were consumed.
“While other egg forms were not tested, we believe the results would be comparable as long as the egg yolk is consumed,” said Campbell, whose research also has looked at salads with different amounts of soybean oil, canola oil and butter. “One large whole egg is about 70 calories and provides 6 grams of protein. People are at a greater risk of putting too many calories on a salad because they don’t always know proper portion sizes for salad dressings, but you do know the portion size of an egg.”
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.