Oils and Fats to Avoid
Vegetable Oils and their fats should be avoided completely. There are much healthier alternatives and there is no reason or need to consume these types of fats. The main culprits to watch out for are:
- Canola Oil
- Corn Oil
- Soybean Oil
- “Vegetable” oil
- Peanut Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter (You better believe it!)
- Smart Balance (Not a Smart idea!)
- Any fake butter or vegetable oils products
There is no nutritional need for these oils and healthy fats can be found in higher amounts and better ratios in many other types of fats. This article has a great breakdown of the Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated, and Saturated content in the above oils.
While it is simple enough to avoid these oils themselves, the tougher challenge is avoiding all the foods they are in.
Check out practically any processed food, and you will find at least one of these ingredients, often labeled as “partially hydrogenated corn/soybean/etc. oil” or “May contain soybean or canola oil.” These foods in particular often contain one of the above unhealthy oils:
- Salad Dressings
- Store Bought Condiments
- Artificial Cheeses
- Store bought nuts and snacks
- Snack Foods
- Practically anything sold in the middle aisles of the store
Oils and Fats to Use Freely
There are so many wonderful and healthy fats that are beneficial to the body, so there is no reason to consume the unhealthy ones above. Fats that can be consumed freely for optimal health are:
- Coconut Oil– Filled with Medium Chain Fatty Acids and Lauric Acid, coconut oil is an all star of the saturated fats. Since the fat composition in cells in the body is largely saturated fat, it is important to get enough of it from healthy sources. Coconut oil does not oxidize easily at high temperatures or go rancid easily, making it a good choice for cooking and baking. It also makes a great natural moisturizer and can be substituted for butter.
- Meats – Meat, especially red meat, has gotten a bad rap, and unfortunately, the animals we eat have been as mistreated nutritionally as we have. Meats like grassfed beef and free range chicken has a very different nutritional profile than their feedlot counterparts. Grassfed and free range meats have higher nutrient levels, healthy forms of saturated fats and even omega-3s. If possible, consume these forms of meat.
- Butter– This one food is usually the one people are happiest to start using again. Butter tastes delicious, and pastured grassfed butter is an excellent source of fat soluble vitamins, healthy saturated fat and other nutrients. In contains a compound that Weston A. Price called Activator X, known to improve nutrient absorption and have preventative benefits against disease.
- Organic Cream– also a good source of healthy saturated fat, organic heavy cream is essentially liquid butter, and is great served whipped on top of fruit, in desserts or in cream based recipes.
- Olive Oil– High in monounsaturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats, olive oil is a great oil for salad dressings, homemade mayo, and cold recipes. It shouldn’t be used for cooking since its high monounsaturated fat content makes it susceptible to oxidation at high temperatures.
- Palm Oil– Has a high saturated fat content and is also heat stable. Some sources claim that palm oil production often encroaches on the natural habitat of some endangered animals, though sustainable versions can be found. If in doubt, just use coconut oil.
- Avocados and Avocado Oil– A good source of monounsaturated fats and great on salads or in guacamole. Avocado oil is milk tasting and can be used in salad dressings.
- Fish– Fish are naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids and can help improve the Omega-3/Omega-6 balance in the body. Look for sustainable wild caught sources, and stick to small fish like sardines, salmon, etc to minimize mercury.
- Eggs– Another all-star in the healthy fats community, eggs are loaded with vitamins, healthy fats and necessary cholesterol. Consume them daily from free range sources.