Since posting about Olive oil, I have been bombarded with questions about what to use in its place. I have attached an image from balancedbites.com that sums up the approach I take perfectly… that is, minus the Palm Oil. I don’t in anyway advocate the use of Palm Oil for environmental reasons. Other than that, this is a great guide.
When you are searching for a safe fat to eat you are looking for the following characteristics:
- You want the fat to be stable (the more stable the better). Fats that are solid at room temperature are more stable than those that are liquid.
- You want the fat to have a high smoke point (the higher the better). Remember that once an oil reaches its smoke point (when it begins to smoke), it is no longer safe to eat.
I have provided a brief description of the different fats available and my personal preferences below:
Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA) – SFA are the most stable on any other fats and have a higher smoke point. I mainly use NATURAL SFAs when cooking. I switch between Coconut Oil and Ghee. Saturated fats are crucial for absorbing vitamins, calcium uptake, immune function, and cell membrane structure.
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) are less stable than SFAs and you should avoid heating these at high temperatures as they go rancid very quickly. Olive oil is very high in MUFAs. I will use MUFAs occasionally – Olive Oil at room temperature and Macadamia Oil at 160C (in the oven) when baking as it has a higher smoke point than most other MUFAs.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) are very unstable and have a very low smoke point. They go rancid very quickly whether they are heated or not. I avoid these oils at all costs. These oils are various vegetable oils, bran oils and oils from various seeds. The process in which these oil are extracted is not something I would consider safe – this is something I will go into another time.
If you would like some more information, facts and figures etc. David Gillespie has released another fantastic book titled “Toxic Oils“.
Want to hear more from Alyse? Go to her website "An Apple a Day" where you will find more blogs, tips and information about all things health.