“Cut the fat in your diet” is advice you often hear about eating healthier and replacing fat in foods you prepare is one way to do just that.
Keep it simple, recommends Rhonda Seifert, a Marshfield Clinic registered dietitian.
Replace saturated fats in your diet, such as lard, butter and animal fats – all solids at room temperature – with unsaturated fats,” she said. “Choosing healthier cooking oils for your home cooking and baking is one place to start.”
Read the nutrition label
Healthier oils contain higher percentages of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats.
“You’ll find this information on the label and both types of fats can benefit heart-health,” Seifert said.
Avoid coconut oil
Not all cooking oils are healthful. Tropical oils, such as coconut oil, have limited health properties but can be quite high in saturated fat.
“Again, it’s a balancing act – the type of fat content to the benefits for heart health,” Seifert said. “The least amount of saturated fat is best.”
To retain cooking oil’s heart-healthy properties, reduce exposure to light, heat and oxygen.
“Store cooking oils in tightly-sealed containers away from heat and light and use them to cook foods at temperatures below the oil’s smoke-point,” Seifert said. “This reduces oxidation that can cause the oil’s heart-healthy properties to be destroyed.”
Keep this guide to healthy cooking oils handy when you cook or bake.