Fats: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

 
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know your fats

The bad and the ugly fats come from animal products and highly processed vegetable oils. We call these the saturated and trans fat brothers! They hide in refined and fast foods, such as doughnuts, chicken nuggets, fries, potato chips, biscuits and pastries, as well as butter and some brands of margarine.

The best fats are the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated kind that exist naturally in plant foods with an army of antioxidants by their side. Think nuts, seeds and avocados. You can also get good fats by using some minimally refined oils in your cooking. While many people eat too much fat (particularly the wrong type), some fat is required for optimal health.

oils for health

  • Flaxseed and chia seed oils. Add these to smoothies for a boost of omega-3. Due to their delicate nature, always store these oils in the fridge and never heat them.
  • Peanut and sesame seed oils. These sturdy oils add authentic flavours for Asian cuisine. I use peanut oil for stir frys and drizzle in sesame oil near the end of the cooking process when making whole-grain fried rice.
  • Olive and avocado oils. Delicious on salads and roasted vegetables. The extra virgin varieties supply an abundance of antioxidants. For example, oleocanthal from olive oil, which provides a stinging/burning sensation in the back of the throat, reduces inflammation in the body like the anti-inflammatory drugs. Don’t heat avocado oil, as a bitter flavour will develop.
  • Macadamia and rice bran oils. Along with olive oil, which is highly versatile, you can use these oils for sautéing, baking and general cooking purposes. Rice bran naturally contains vitamin E and plant sterols that help lower blood cholesterol.

Click here for a healthy recipe using good oil idea.