Ever wonder which fats are the good ones?
No one would blame you if you admitted to being confused of which fats are good and which ones are bad. Consistent conflicting information leaves us wondering do we eat fat or avoid it altogether?
In reality, it’s both.
The fats in the typical North American diet, like trans-fat, hydrogenated oils, saturated fats and some tropical oils can lead to an imbalance, chronic inflammation and disease, and should be avoided.
But olive, nut, grain and seed oils, unprocessed vegetable oils and non-hydrogenated oils—as well as these new options—are full of good-for-you fats that we should eat every day.
Bright green in color, with a unique, piquant flavor, avocado oil is perfect as a finishing drizzle or dip.
Why it’s good for you: Lutein (good for eye health) and chlorophyll (antioxidant).
How to eat it: Avocado oil is a natural in guacamole, salsas and chili. It’s also great in vinaigrettes. Our personal favorite is to use on brown rice toast as an early morning fat pick up after exercise.
Where to get it: This oil is easier to find every day. Look in health food shops and most major grocers.
No longer just for the beach, coconut oil or butter is fast becoming the go-to fat for vegans and healthy dessert lovers. It’s pure white, soft at room temperature or solid and crumbly when cold, with a strong coconut flavor. It is also native to Panama, yippee!!
Why it’s good for you: Great as a vegan fat in raw food desserts because it cools to a solid. It’s still being studied but it’s purported to be a great anti-bacterial, rich in vitamins K and E and iron. Some even suggest it can help with weight management, since it reduces stress on the endocrine system.
How to eat it: Because it really does taste strongly of coconut, it’s best used in desserts or tropical and Asian recipes, such as curries, noodle dishes and to fry fish fritters.
Where to get it: Available at most health food shops, Asian and Caribbean specialty shops and some large grocery stores.
A European staple for generations, grapeseed oil has finally not only made it to our shores but our own chefs are beginning to embrace it. Crystal clear, pretty soft green and ever so lightly flavored, t’s versatile enough to be an everyday oil.
Why it’s good for you: Studies suggest that grapeseed oil can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and raise levels of the good kind (HDL). There is also evidence that it may help repair arterial walls.
How to eat it: With a fairly high smoking point, it’s great for cooking and with its neutral flavor works well in baking.
Where to get it: Most grocery stores, especially Italian and Mediterranean shops and health food stores.