Healthy Fats

simplesteps

“Don’t eat saturated fats…Saturated fats are fine…Margarine is much better than butter…Margarine is made of plastic…Eat low-fat….Eat lots of fat…Don’t eat fat at all…. Avocados are a good source of fat…Fat causes heart disease…Fat keeps your cells healthy…Stay away from real butter….Eat all the butter you want…Cream is for when you want to eat naughty….Never deep fat fry anything…Drink skim milk…Raw cream has many healing factors…You can’t eat fat and stay thin…Be sure to feed your kids low fat yogurt and cheeses…”

In honor of all the big fat contradictory fatty information out there, I’d like to ask us all to pause and have a moment of simultaneous screaming.

{aaahahhhahahaaahhhhhahahhahahhhhaaaaahahhhahhhhhhhaaaaahhahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!} 

{ahahhaahah.}

{ahh.}

Thank you.

I get very weary of hearing fat information that contradicts.  I used to think fat was bad. I used to feel terrible guilt anytime I ate anything with cheese or butter and heaven forbid if I ever indulged in french fries.

So, what’s the truth?  IS fat bad?

Well, that depends on who you ask…and it depends on which fats you’re talking about…and it depends on which research was done to prove that the fat was good or bad…and it depends on who’s trying to make money by telling you the information and it depends on…

{aaahahhhhaaah!!}

I’m just going to share where I’ve landed on the matter and of course I am of the opinion that I am right.  :)  But as we all know, I am a normal (and often scatterbrained) mom who often carries her own light saber around for protection.  I’m not a fat research specialist…so you can take this information or leave it.

From what I’ve read, heart disease and obesity did NOT begin to be a big problem in the US until right about the time we began to switch out butter with margarine and our whole fat with low fat.  The less saturated fat we have eaten as a nation, the unhealthier (and heavier) we have become, even though saturated fat is blamed for bad health.  Most vegetable oils (those low in saturated fat) sold in the store are rancid before they even make it to our kitchens and rancid oils tend to freak out our insides.  These are the  oils that most restaurants use.

Oh and also, most low fat products have quite a few artificial flavors and lots of sugar added to make up for the taste that is pulled out along with the fat.  Hmm.

So are fats bad for us?  Yes, some of them most certainly are.  But does that mean we should all “go low fat”?  Choosing the right fats for our health is important.  In fact, my research often tells me that eating a nice amount of fat (the good ones) is actually necessary for good health.

So which fats are the good fats?  Here are my favorites and the fats I feel best about eating and cooking with:

Butter -  I’m talking about real butter, not margarine.  People interchange the names of the two, but margarine isn’t butter, it’s nasty, so just make sure you know that I’m talking about BUTTER here.

I love that butter is pure with only one or maybe two ingredients:  Cream and Salt.  I’d recommend that you buy the “Unsalted Butter” but watch out because unsalted varieties usually have other additives labeled as “flavorings”.  Grr, don’t add flavorings (aka MSG) to my butter!!!  Give me the pure stuff!!  So, if I can find an unsalted butter that is ONLY cream, I go for it, otherwise I go with salted.  Butter made from raw, pastured cream is THE BEST EVER for your health if you can get your hands on some.

Butter is great for baking items such as cookies and biscuits.  Plus of course, butter is also great spread on bread or waffles or pancakes or muffins…

Coconut Oil – When it comes to healthy oils, it doesn’t get much better than coconut oil.  Find out here how to receive a free book about the benefits of coconut oil.  There are two main varieties of coconut oil:  Unrefined and Virgin.  Both are good for you, especially when you buy them from a good source like Tropical Traditions or  Mountain Rose Herbs.  Unrefined Coconut Oil has a very mild taste and does not taste like coconut, which makes it good for frying (when you don’t want your chicken nuggets to taste like coconuts).  Virgin Coconut oil has a fabulous coconut flavor and is great for baking!

Coconut oil does not go rancid when heated to high temps, so all that stuff you hear about “never deep fat frying anything”?  It’s true…except for when you fry foods in Coconut Oil!!  Or when you fry it in…

Palm Oil or Palm Shortening – I am so excited to find that Palm Shortening can be used to make a fabulous and healthy pie crust!!!  I often melt some palm shortening into my electric skillet to fry donuts or french fries.  There is no flavor in this shortening so your french fries taste like french fries…only better!   Yeah, who doesn’t love a french fry that tastes better than a french fry!!

Olive Oil - Of all the controversial fats, Olive Oil stands up to the test on both sides of the fence.  I use olive oil to stir fry my veggies, to cook chicken and to make salad dressings.  I prefer organic, and always try to find it in a dark colored bottle as the sunlight does compromise it’s quality.

Full Fat Dairy – Oh yes, bring on the whole milk and rich cream.  More about dairy another time, because wow, this post is getting long isn’t it?

What are your thoughts on fat?  What have you learned and what has your research taught you?  Do you find yourself screaming about the controversial fat information out there like I do? {aaahahha!}

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Comments

  1. Kathy says

    I make my own soap…have for years, and I use olive, palm and coconut oils. I am now looking for a food-grade source of these oils…I have not seen any reference yet to Azure Standard. You might want to check this site out also as a source for a lot of organic and natural foods. There is a minimum order but my daughter and I share orders so it works out fine.

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  2. Caroline says

    This might be a funny question but can you use palm shortening in conventional cookie recipes that call for shortening?

    Thanks!

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    Laura Reply:

    Yep, it’ll work!

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  3. Stephany says

    When you see “natural flavoring” listed as an ingredient do they mean MSG? I have always wondered.

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, unfortunately, that is usually code for MSG. :(

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  4. says

    i watched on the “doctors” show and it said that any oil you fry with when its put at a high temp it makes a tras fat…(if this makes sense) is it true? i would hate to not fry anything…they say you can fry with beef tallow or lard…? just wondering?

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I’ve heard that also, which is why I avoid frying. However, coconut oil as well as beef tallow like you mentioned are more stable fats, which means they don’t turn to trans fats when heated to high temps!

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  5. Lauren says

    My husband and I believe in eating whole foods, including full fat dairy. But I have an autoimmune disease and have heard that dairy fat can cause inflammation. I was wondering if you’d heard anything like that. We drink whole raw milk from the dairy usually, and sometimes whole milk from Braums. I’m just kinda wondering, which is worse? Inflammation from the fat or the unnatural low-fat milk? I suppose I could get low fat raw milk from the dairy as an option… I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on this if you have any.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    If it were me, I’d go with raw if possible. You could always skim the cream off if you needed to, and the raw would be much better because of the natural enzymes it contains.

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  6. Danielle B says

    I hate to admit this… but I just ran out of canola oil. And I’m not wanting to buy anymore! (yeah) I’ve heard pure olive oil doesn’t have the strong olive taste like the EVOO does. Is pure olive oil okay? What are your thoughts on it?

    I don’t fry a lot of things but currently i’m on a “kick” of browning turkey sausage after boiling it. And not sure what I can use in place of a mild oil like canola. I do have coconut oil, but it is the organic, not sure if I want a coconut tasting turkey sausage lol.

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, while I haven’t researched it, I do think that pure olive oil would be okay. Also, you may want to try palm shortening or the expeller pressed coconut oil for a flavorless oil. Glad you’re not replacing your canola! Hope you’re doing well. :)

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    Danielle B Reply:

    Hey Laura! I’m good… Christmas is coming, so that will be the hardest one yet. At least it’s the last “first”. I hope you are feeling better. Being sick stinks!

    Nope, I wasn’t going to buy canola again! AND I was at new to me grocery store, (not a new store, new to area, I just never went there, kinda out of the way) and I found sucanat! And of course I bought it. 2 lbs for $6.34 (high huh?). I was just so excited to find it! I might have to shop at this grocery store more often.

    The pure olive oil seems to be working well. Can’t taste it! I’ll have tocheck out the palm shortening and or expeller pressed CO, especially since it’s Christmas cookie time!

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  7. Juli says

    So is Coconut Oil interchangeable with Palm Shortening? Is there a reason or occasion to use one and not the other?

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    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Yes! Either of them work great in most recipes. I think it is just whatever you prefer. :)

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  8. Rachel says

    Hello! I was wondering what your thoughts on lard are.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I would say that if it comes from a source you trust, lard is good stuff!

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  9. Stephanie says

    I live in South Africa and I haven’t seen palm shortening in the grocery stores. I have recently seen something called Holsum. On the back the ingredients say: Vegetable Fat (palm fruit, palm kernel), Vitamin A, Vitamin D. It also says suitable for cooking, baking, and frying. It comes in a bar like soap wrapped in paper. It is white and solid and is sold on the shelves, not in the coolers like margarine and butter. Is this like palm shortening or is it something unhealthy?

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    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    That sounds like palm shortening…I would go ahead and use it. :)

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  10. Pamela Kelly says

    Hi, Laura – I finally bought some coconut oil, but bought “refined” as opposed to the unrefined and virgin; do you think that is an issue? Also, I noticed you mentioned stir-frys with olive oil. I have used eevo for cooking foods but now am hearing that even olive oil is adversely affected at high temps. Wondered what your insights on that were, as well as thoughts on cooking with nut oils (peanut, walnut, etc.) As there is ground beef in my fridge that needs to be browned, I’m going to try a little of the palm shortening for today (melted down…have never done that):-)! Thanks much!

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Your coconut oil will work just fine. :)

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    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Oops…forgot to add that Laura has been using palm oil for stir fry. :)

    [Reply]

    Pamela Kelly Reply:

    Thank you, Lindsey and Laura!

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