A bit about oils...

Great salad dressings depend on using the finest ingredients. Use only unrefined, cold pressed nut and seed oils, not just because they taste wonderful and carry the flavor of food, but also because the body needs the essential fatty acids they contain. Eating only refined oils, which lack these essential fatty acids, will lead to nutritional deficiencies. In fact, all refined (heat treated) oils are harmful to the body. The refining process creates trans-fatty acids which are the catalysts for all fat-related degenerative diseases.

The essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, found in the highest concentration in flaxseed oil, are transformed by the body to hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. These fatty acids do not produce energy (calories) or store fat in the body like saturated fat. Instead they have been shown to protect against heart disease, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, stroke and blood clots, increase the body's resistance to cancer tumors, give relief from arthritis, asthma, pre-menstrual syndrome, allergies, skin conditions, and improve brain functioning, immunity and some behavior disorders.

Fats and oils, including raw nuts and seeds, also satisfy the appetite quickly and actually help to prevent overeating because it takes the body nine times longer to use up the calories from fat than it does from complex carbohydrates.

Use a tasty unrefined nut or seed oil on your salad, or grind the nuts and seeds into a powder and sprinkle it immediately over your salad for a tasty and nutritious meal that supplies "good" fats. (Soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds can be used.) Fats carry fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E. Serve oil with your vegetables to help make the vitamins and beta carotenes more bio-available to the body.

Hemp oil is a relative newcomer in stores. This easily metabolized oil is a very balanced mix of all the essential fatty acids, unsaturated, mono-unsaturated and saturated fats. Hemp oil has a strong taste, so mix it with flaxseed oil and extra virgin olive oil for use on salads and vegetables.

Finally, avocados are another excellent source of "good" fats. Although they do not supply essential fatty acids, avocados are full of vitamins and minerals and quickly satisfy the appetite.

Use a variety of healthy fats, including unrefined, cold-pressed nut and seed oils and fat-rich foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados to create great tasting, satisfying and nutritious meals.