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Best Dietary Fats to Eat - Best Cooking Oils - Monounsaturated, Omega-3, Omega-6 Polyunsaturates (PUFAs)

Best Fats to Eat

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Best Dietary Fats

Which Are The Healthiest Fats or Oils?

In simple terms, there are three basic types of fats:

(1) Saturated Fat (bad for health);
(2) Polyunsaturated Fat (good for health in moderate amounts);
(3) Monounsaturated Fat (good for health, if not over-heated).

At present, monounsaturated fats are considered to be healthier than polyunsaturated fats, because they reduce bad cholesterol (LDL). Polyunsaturated fat does this too, but it tends to reduce good cholesterol (HDL).

Oily Fish - Polyunsaturated Essential Fatty Acids (PUFAs)

Some fats are essential because we cannot manufacture them ourselves, and must be obtained in our diet. These healthy fats include the family of omega 3 and omega 6 fats, which are part of the polyunsaturated fat family. An excellent source of essential fatty acids is oily fish.

Monounsaturated Oil Best For Cooking

Oils high in monounsaturates are best for cooking. For example, olive oil has the highest oxidation threshold: meaning, it remains stable at higher temperatures and is not easily transformed into hydrogenated or saturated fat.

Unrefined Oils are Best

In general, the less refined the fat/oil, the healthier it is. Chemically processed oils are quite different from mechanically pressed oils (much better), and since pesticides often gather in oils, organic oils are best. The best oil is unrefined, mechanically pressed plant oil which is pesticide free and stored in opaque glass containers. Good choices include: hemp seed oil, flax oil, soy oil, extra virgin olive oil, wheatgerm oil and walnut oil.

Which Fats/Oils are Best for Weight Control?

From a calorie viewpoint, all oils are equally fattening. They contain about 120 calories per tablespoon.

How Much Fat to Eat?

We need regular fat in our diet, otherwise we cannot absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E and K. That said, US government food pyramid guidelines advise that fats should be eaten "sparingly". Most nutritionists and dieticians recommend a daily fat intake of no more than 30 percent of calories - that's about 50 grams of total fat, if you're following a 1600-calorie diet.

Restrict Saturated Fat Intake

Also, you should restrict your consumption of saturated fat, including hydrogenated or trans-fats,to a minimum - no more than 5-10 per cent of calories. This adds up to a maximum of 20g of saturated fat per day.

Dietary Fat Resources

Best Cooking Oils
Recommended Daily Allowance for Fat in Diet
What are Essential Fatty Acids?
Health Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fish Oils
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids
What is Monounsaturated Fat?
What is Polyunsaturated Fat?
What is Saturated Fat?
What are Trans-Fats?
Questions About Cholesterol in Diet

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