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Confused About Healthy Fats?

Posted by Kathy LeMoine

At a family gathering last Sunday, my daughter and her fiancé were questioning which oil to use when cooking foods at high temperatures. It's a topic that many of us grapple with as we are constantly bombarded with misleading messages from the vegetable oil industry.

We all want to do the right thing. Many of us have a "healthy fats list" that we make sure not to deviate from. We stock our pantry shelves and refrigerators with only the best quality fats and oils- extra virgin, cold pressed, centrifuge extracted. But using and/or storing these fats and oils improperly can undo all of our good intentions!

Oils to use when cooking foods at high temperatures as well as those best kept refrigerated and served at room temperature

For High Temperature Cooking:
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oilOiling of America
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Ghee
  • Butter (watch the smoke point!)
  • Tallow
  • Suet
  • Lard
  • Chicken fat
  • Goose fat
  • Duck fat

For Salads:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (also okay for low temperature cooking)
  • Expeller-expressed sesame oil
  • Expeller-expressed peanut oil
  • Expeller-expressed flax oil (in small amounts)

The best of both worlds:

If you love the taste of olive oil and sesame oil in your cooking, try blending with coconut oil. This combination is so flavorful for sauteeing: Simply mix equal amounts of each of all three oils. You may need to first slightly warm the coconut oil in order for it to mix well.

These healthy fats and oils are nutrient rich and have nourished healthy populations for thousands of years!

 Avoid These!

On the other hand, the following fats have been shown in studies to cause cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis:*
  • All hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
  • Industrially processed liquid oils such as soy, corn, safflower, cottonseed and canola
  • Fats and oils (especially vegetable oils) heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying


*Weston A. Price Foundation, Principles of Healthy Diets, page 5

Tags: Fuel Your Body

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    Hi! My Name is Kayla. I am an RN turned researcher, real-food-nibbler and integrative health advocate. Welcome to the blog!

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