Health Benefits Stemming from Plant-Based Oils, Key Ingredients in Mayonnaise and Salad Dressings

Oils in foods like mayonnaise and salad dressing serve a valuable purpose when it comes to your digestion and health. You may be asking yourself, what do mayonnaise and salad dressing have in common? Well, two things actually:

     1. Both add amazing flavor to your favorite dishes
     2. Both are made with healthy oils that are good for your body

Mayonnaise is comprised of oils like soybean and canola, which are natural sources of an essential omega 3 fatty acid. According to the American Heart Association, omega 3s work to reduce blood pressure and improve overall heart health. In fact, soybean oil is one of the few non-fish sources of these beneficial acids. Soybean oil is also full of unsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol levels.

Similar to mayonnaise, many salad dressings contain the same healthy oils that serve to aide your body (soybean and canola oils). In the case of salads, these healthy oils help to better absorb nutrients from the greens like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and folate. All of these nutrients work to keep your body healthy, fight off illness and disease such as heart disease and cancer and promote strong overall development.

In fact, Purdue University decided to put this to the test with a study published in the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research journal in 2012. Researchers found that more carotenoids (fat-soluble substances associated with fighting diseases such as cancer) were absorbed when subjects consumed salad with dressings containing monounsaturated fats like canola oil. Lead author and professor at Purdue University, Mario Ferruzzi says, “if you want to utilize more from your fruits and vegetables, you have to pair them correctly with fat-based dressings.” Ferruzzi explains that low fat options still absorb carotenoids, but their full-fat counterparts do so while requiring less fat to be consumed in the long run. 


Caitlin Hutchinson

Association for Dressings & Sauces