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Healthy Eating

Here you will find tons of information about healthy eating and incorporating the principles of healthy nutrition into your daily life. Built around Dr. Cederquist’s nutritional foundation for healthy weight loss, these articles place a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

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The Best Cooking Oils and the Skinny on Fats



The Best Cooking Oils and the Skinny on Fats

The country is suffering the consequences of fast foods, fatty foods, not enough nutrition and too little exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35.7% of adults in the United States are obese. Adults who are overweight and not obese are 33.3%.

When it comes to health, we need know what type of fat we’re consuming. Oils that come from animals are much healthier than animal fats. Fats that come from animals have a much higher amount of saturated fat—the bad stuff that makes you gain weight. But with so many different oils out there, it can be hard to find the best cooking oil.

Cooking oil is a staple in American homes; we use it for cooking, preparing salads and other foods. But it can be difficult to determine which oils are appropriate and which oils may do damage to our health.

Healthy fats and oils: what is the best cooking oil?

Monounsaturated fats: The Cleveland Clinic tells us that monounsaturated fats reduce heart disease more than any other oils. They include plant-based oils like almond oil, sunflower oil (high-oleic), canola oil (high-oleic) and olive oil (light or highly refined.) The Cleveland Clinic also recommends "ramping up" your intake of olives, avocados and nuts as well.

Polyunsaturated fats: These are plant based oils with omega-3 fatty acids; The Cleveland Clinic recommends increasing omega-3 by eating foods like salmon and walnuts.

The benefits of extra-virgin olive oil

The Cleveland Clinic recommends extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) as the best cooking oil for most scenarios including the best cooking oil for cooking and creating dressings, dips and marinades. Olives retain healthy fats and antioxidants because they're processed within 24 hours of picking.

The main fat in all types of olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs. MUFAs and PUFAs [polyunsaturated fats] may help lower your risk of heart disease by improving related risk factors. For instance, MUFAs may lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels

Olive oil, however, is high in calories and should be consumed in moderation. It's best to store it in a dark cupboard or in the refrigerator. Olive oil should be used within 6 months to one year of opening.

Unhealthy choices

The best cooking oil will NOT be cooking oil that contains saturated fats or trans fats. Canola and Safflower oil usually contains 1 gram of saturated fat per Tablespoon so they’re not that bad; but Coconut oil contains around 90% saturated fat.

The Cleveland Clinic tells us that saturated fats, like full-fat dairy products and butter, increase heart disease. Less than 7% of daily caloric intake should come from saturated fats. Trans Fats—hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils like margarine and shortening –increase the risk of heart disease more than other oils. The best solution is to read labels and eliminate these from your diet.

In the article Trans Fat is Double Trouble for your Heart Health, The Mayo Clinic staff warns us that in the United States, if a food has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the food label can read 0 grams trans fat. Though that's a small amount of trans fat, if you eat multiple servings of foods with less than 0.5 grams of trans fat, you could exceed the recommended limits.

According to The Risks of Diets High in Saturated Fats from Livestrong.com, you should eliminate trans fatty acids and hydrogenated fats from your diet, but saturated and unsaturated fats are OK to eat in moderation and can be up to 30 percent of your daily calories, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

Valuable resources

The Cleveland Clinic has created an Easy Guide to Heart-healthy Cooking Oils. Click this link for a color PDF that explains which oils are "better for your heart" and how to use them.

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