Not all fats are bad for you; in fact, incorporating healthy fats into your diet can actually be good for you! The general rule of thumb is that good fats are liquid at room temperature and bad fats are solid at room temperature. Therefore, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats fall into the good fats category, while saturated and trans fats fall into the bad fats category. Unlike saturated fats, monounsaturated fats help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, while boosting your HDL (good) cholesterol. Dietary fat is also good for us because it is one of three macronutrients that supports a number of our body's functions and provides us with energy.
Now for the fun stuff — the foods with all the healthy fats:
Avocados: Avocados contain monounsaturated fats (and antioxidants and beta carotene too!), which is said to help enhance memory and prevent heart disease. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of fat is 65 grams and one cup of avocado contains almost one third of your fat intake for a day, about 23 grams. So it's probably best to stick with eating just a half an avocado each day.
Since Hanukkah is coming up on Dec. 4, I thought it'd be a great idea to chat about oil. When you look on a shelf at the store, there are many kinds of oil to choose from, and I always thought that canola and corn oil were the same thing. I was way off.
Corn oil is made from the germ of corn. Canola oil is actually produced from rapeseed oil and was originally made in Canada. The word canola comes from "Canadian Oil, Low Acid." Some people think that canola oil is unhealthy because rapeseed oil contains high amounts of erucic acid, which is know to have harmful effects. Don't worry though, canola oil is now made from a new plant that is similar to the rapeseed plant, but has a much lower erucic acid content.
So how do they compare nutritionally? To see the chart read more
We're all excited about about how many cities, states and companies are banning trans fats, but how are they going to deliver the same beloved French Fries and fried chicken that so many of their customers crave?
This Chicago restaurant owner, Ina Pinkney, might have paved the way - she eliminated trans fat from her menu a few years ago, and made the switch to Canola oil. She says that going trans fat free was a recipe for success.
She feared that the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in her foods were endangering her customers' health. Using Canola oil is not only healthier for her customers, but it's cheaper for her - she says it cooks so much better, so she uses less oil.
The oil's "fry life" and taste are virtually the same, but Canola oil is about 30% more expensive than partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. That's why a lot of restaurant owners are reluctant to make the switch. They just need to talk to Ina since she thinks it is cost beneficial.
But in the end switching over to Canola oil will prove beneficial because if patrons know the food is healthier, they'll probably be eating it more often (and MORE of it).
Nuts! Fish!? Seeds?!? Omega 3s can cause some culinary confusion. If you're looking to get more of them in your diet here's a few simple ways:
Walnut Oil: I use this in salad dressings regularly using equal parts walnut oil to olive oil. Then I add a little white wine vinegar and some Dijon mustard. Plus, I throw some toasted walnuts onto the salad. Be sure to refrigerate your oil after you open it.
Flax seeds: My favorite way to sneak flax seeds into my diet is Uncle Sam Cereal. It is simply toasted whole wheat flakes and flax seeds. Taste wise the cereal would benefit with some added fresh fruit. Plus my kids love it, which I love since the cereal hardly has any sugar in it!
Canola Oil: Canola oil is great to cook with and is the best oil when making a stir fry. It tastes much lighter than olive oil which makes it suitable for baking as well.