The Truth About Fats & Oils

The article below is via Refinery29
Great news for all who love food that doesn’t taste like wood: Oil is not the Anti-Christ, andeating fat will not make you fat. Time to say “goodbye” (and good riddance) to that non-stick cooking spray, and “hello” to the wide world of cooking with actual oil. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are called “fat-soluble” because they need fat in order to be absorbed. “Oils are a critical piece of a healthy diet,” says Dr. Charles Carpenter, MD. They “contain nutrients in their own right, and help us utilize the nutrients in the rest of our food.” So, if you don’t have some fat in that lovely green juice you’re guzzling, you’re flushing key vitamins right down your own drain. 

But, before you go throwing any old fat into the pan, you probably should know that all oils are not created equal. There are some you should cook with, some you shouldn’t, and some you should probably never eat again. 

“Saturated” means “stable” 
We now know that saturated fat is not the silent killer it was believed to be for the last half-century. In fact, saturation is not only not dangerous, it’s downright beneficial. Here comes the science: A fat is monounsaturated if it has one double bond within the fatty-acid chain. A fat is polyunsaturated if it has more than one. Saturated fats have no double bonds. What does that mean? The more double bonds, the more vulnerable the fat is to oxidation, which happens when the fat is exposed to light, air, and especially heat. 

When it comes to cooking, “The first thing you need to know is degree of saturation,” saysDr. Cate Shanahan, MD, author of Food Rules: A Doctor’s Guide to Healthy Eating, and Nutrition Director for the Los Angeles Lakers. This is because when you cook, the more saturated a fat, the more stable and less likely to oxidize it is — making more saturated fats a better choice.

Rachel Daily

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