02 Apr 2013
- Written by Dr. Timothy Moore
Have you ever wondered what would be the best cooking oil to use considering that there are several brands to choose from on the store shelves? Whatever the brand, most of the cooking oils are loaded with fats. The problem is there is a misunderstanding about what is considered good fat verses bad fat.
The proof is in the mirror. When you eat unhealthy fats, you can expect a change in your appearance. The pounds will begin to add up and your body – if you over indulge to the point of becoming a glutton – will increase in size and your waistline will expand.
Certain fats can cause health problems. There are monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, trans fats, and saturated fats. To the layperson, it's hard to distinguish between good fats and bad fats. Even butter, which some believe has no fat in it at all, is in fact 100 percent fat.
Fat also is in all nuts and seeds, which are beneficial to the body in so many ways. Too much fat in your diet can cause obesity and diabetes. Look at it like this: If you look at the calorie content of seeds and nuts, you'll understand why losing weight with them is nearly impossible.
Information about fats is controversial and often misleading. It's difficult to understand which ones are good for you and which ones are harmful. For example, saturated fat and butter are fats that are always solid at room temperature. They're most often used in whole milk and dairy and made from an animal source. They should always be avoided, if possible.
Polyunsaturated fat often is pitched as a healthy fat that is needed to promote a healthy heart. This is a gross misinterpretation. For example, we do need omega-3, which is a type of polyunsaturated fat, but we can get that from other sources.
Polyunsaturated fat in liquid form remains that way at room temperature and even when it's chilled. One example is corn oil. If you want this kind of fat in your diet, you can get it by eating corn. You also can get a healthy source of polyunsaturated fat from fruits, vegetables and nuts.
The majority of women tend to load up on polyunsaturated fat at the salad bar. For example, 4 ounces of salad dressing equals 8 tablespoons. And if 1 tablespoon equals 120 calories, that equates to 960 calories from the salad dressing alone.
Just in case you weren't told, olive oil is in fact a monounsaturated fat and considered to be a good fat. One cup of olive oil, for example, is loaded with 4,000 calories. In today's society, it is used on everything from salad dressings to baking, and as a coating agent.
Whether you were informed or not before reading his column, you now know that good fats are very heavy in calories. This is one of the reasons that the majority of our society is obese. So, next time you reach for olive oil, think about the calories that you will be consuming.
You may be surprised to know there is a man-made fat – hydro generated fat. This fat is used in butter, margarine, biscuits, cakes and frozen meals. When you're thinking you are eating healthy, most likely you're really not.
I'm sure you've read food labels that say no trans fat is added. This is most misleading because of the legal limits set that the FDA sets on the percentage of allowed trans fats. It can equal to zero or .05 percent. When you are eating something that says there is no trans fat, think again. Cookies, crackers, cakes, piecrust, pizza dough and candy are just some of the food items that are loaded with trans fat.
To be safe, just prepare your own food so that it won't be an issue. I know you want to live a better and healthier life, but remember that oil is oil and fat is fat no matter the source. Take time to distinguish between what is good and healthy for you, and what is considered bad.