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What type of oil should I use on salads?

Keri Gans
Nutrition & Dietetics
For salads, olive, sunflower, safflower, flaxseed, or walnut oils are excellent choices. With the exception of extra-virgin olive oil, olive oil has a robust flavor, while sunflower oil (pressed from the seeds) and safflower oil (pressed from a thistle-type flower) have a delicate taste and a lighter texture. If you opt for sunflower oil, you can get either high-oleic sunflower oil, which has monounsaturated levels of 80 percent and above, or the more common linoleic sunflower oil, which is high in polyunsaturates or linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. Flaxseed’s rich, nutty taste adds a pleasant flavor to a salad, and it’s a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which your body converts into omega- 3s. It goes rancid quickly—high or even room temperatures destroy its fragile structure -- so keep it in the refrigerator and use it within a few months of opening. Walnut oil is best used uncooked or in cold sauces because it becomes slightly bitter when heated.
The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You

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The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You

THE ONLY “DIET” PLAN YOU WILL EVER NEED! No deprivation, no struggles. Just ten small changes that will transform your life. Keri Gans, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, shares...
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Canola, olive, walnut, and peanut oil are mono or polyunsaturated fats. These types of oils are healthy choices. Recent research has shown health benefits from having some type of mono or polyunsaturated fats added to your salad to help you absorb the fat soluble vitamins from your salad. If you do not use oil in your salad, you can also add foods like nuts, avocados, or olives to your salad as a source of healthy fats.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.