For at least two – three generations we’ve been told to steer clear of saturated fat because it causes heart disease. This has pushed many people toward using polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable and seed oils as an alternative.
But you need to ask yourself two important questions:
– Where is the fat coming from to make vegetable oils?
Unlike fats like beef dripping, butter, avocado or lard vegetable and seed oils aren’t particularly naturally occurring an therefore go through a highly industrious manufacturing process. Not great for our health!
– Why am I told that polyunsaturated fats are healthier?
Food manufactures and general industry benefit from using up vegetable and seeds to create oils and it is cheaper for large scale producers as well as restaurants to use these fats over the natural stuff. There’s a long history behind the perpetuation of the saturated fat and heart diseases myth. All covered in this article on the blog.
This whole healthy fat thing is long and complicated. But your understanding of it doesn’t have to be. All you need is the handy A No Grainer guide to cooking fats.This breaks down which fats are best and why.
All you need to look out for is:
1) Number of double bonds in the fat – ie how saturated it is. Saturated, monounsaturated then polyunsaturated is the descending order of stability.
2) fat smoking point: how high can you cook the fat before it starts to smoke and degraded the fatty acid quality.