With so many fats to choose from, it can be tricky to know what is healthy and what to avoid. Here’s where my guide to cooking fats 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. This post includes a far more detailed look at each fatty acid type.
Here is my handy guide to 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
What’s in the guide?
There are three types of fats: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. My guide outlines which fatty acid type is which and how safe each type is for cooking!
Examples of where to find each fat:
- Saturated fat: coconut oil, ghee, beef, butter, cheese, duck and chicken fat, cream.
- Monounsaturated fat: olives, olive oil, avocado, some meat, nuts (macadamias, almonds), duck & chicken fat, egg yolks.
- Polyunsaturated fat: nuts, seeds, fish vegetable oils, industrial seed oils, nuts and seeds, found in animal products (eg: fish is a great source of omega 3)
Smoke point of each fat
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.
I hope you find this useful. Any questions or comments, get in touch!