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How to Choose the Proper Cooking Oil

While cooking oils are pure fats, they are not the same. All cooking oils are a combination of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats. It is the concentration of hydrogen that determines how they are classified. Without being too technical, hopefully, the following information will provide a basic understanding of fats.

Saturated fats:

Saturated fats are found in animal products and the liver converts them to cholesterol. Butter, margarine, meats, and dairy products are especially high in saturated fat. Saturated fats will raise blood cholesterol levels and are associated with higher rates of heart disease and stroke. It is solid at room temperature.

Unsaturated fats:

There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do not raise blood cholesterol levels. Canola and olive oils contain the highest proportion of monounsaturated fats compared to other cooking oils. Natural sunflower oil and corn are the highest in polyunsaturated fats.

Trans fat:

Trans fats are synthetic or processed fats, which are made from liquid oil. When hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil and pressure is added, the result is a stiffer fat, like the fat found in a Crisco can. Trans fats are also called hydrogenated fats and are found in margarine and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from trans fats.

Partially hydrogenated fats:

If you have health problems, read food labels to see if they include "partially hydrogenated oil" as an ingredient. Partially hydrogenated oils are present in all donuts, crackers, cookies, cakes, high-fat fried foods (including those from major fast-food chains), French fries and corn chips, imitation cheeses, and confectionery fats that are found in icings and candies. . All of these products contain unsaturated fats that can be damaged at high temperatures and become trans fats.