These are enemies of your heart, increasing the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood. They’re found in meat and dairy products such as butter, lard and bacon grease, as well as palm and coconut oils.
Excellent because they help lower bad cholesterol and increase levels of “good” cholesterol. Sources include olive and canola oils (which are healthier for frying), as well as avocados, nuts and seeds. However, remember that all fats–whether good or bad–are high in calories.
These reduce levels of bad cholesterol and contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, which help maintain heart health and reduce arterial pressure. Good sources are sunflower and safflower oils, as well as soybeans, fish and grains.
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils not only increase the levels of bad cholesterol, but they reduce the good kind as well. They can be found in fast food, snack foods, fried food and baked goods.
- When frying, olive oil best withstands temperatures necessary for frying (around 300-350º). Canola is a less expensive alternative.
- Don’t overheat or use burned oil. It’s best not to let the temperature exceed 375º. Above that, irritating and potentially toxic substances are generated. Use a deep-fry thermometer (available for less than $10).
- Sautéing and stir-frying with olive and canola oils in spray form can greatly reduce the amount of fat in your food.