With so many fats available, it can be tricky to choose which one is best, particularly for different occasions types of food. Here’s where my cooking fats guide can come in handy.
Foods that are made of mainly saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are the best for cooking. Fats that are mainly monounsaturated fatty acids (MFAs) are ok, but only to be used at very low heats. They are best when they are used for cold things like dressing salads.
Here is my handy guide to various cooking fats. It includes the fat’s smoke point as well as a breakdown of the types of fatty acids to help you make an informed choice when you’re cooking with lots of healthy fats!
All fats have a smoke point, which is the temperature where the oil will start to smoke and smell like it is burning. Oils past their smoke point will smell pungent and often create a smoke that stings your eyes. When oils are heated past their smoke point they start to break down and oxidise, causing the release of free radicals. Oxidised fats can seriously damage cells and contribute to many diseases and inflammatory conditions.
Where can I find each fat?
- Saturated fat Sources: coconut oil, ghee, beef, butter, cheese, duck and chicken fat, cream.
- Monounsaturated fat sources: olives, olive oil, avocado, some meat, nuts (macadamias, almonds), duck & chicken fat, egg yolks.
- Polyunsaturated fat sources: vegetable oils, industrial seed oils, nuts and seeds, found in animal products (eg: fish is a great source of omega 3)