Wellness Wednesday Recipes - March 2017 | Ed 1

Best Ways to Optimize Fats

By Tammy LeBoss | thefitprofoodie.com

Best Ways to Optimize Fats

We’ve all heard about the health benefits of olive oil.

Embraced by many health nuts, ‘good fats’ such as olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil, avocado and walnuts are known to fight inflammation, reduce risk of heart disease, and reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.

Many of us cook with olive oil, but did you know that olive oil is only good for us when it’s used cold? Increased heat can increase the likelihood of oxidation. In fact, it's important to realize olive oil is not necessarily good for cooking. Why? Due to its chemical structure and a large amount of monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid, heating olive oil when cooking can turn this good fat into a bad one. To learn more, geek out on science with NAFC’s Nutrition Coach and find out how heat can actually damage certain foods, changing their molecular structure(s) so they’re no longer beneficial to our health.

Concerned about oxidation and rancidity? Try cooking with coconut oil. It is the ideal choice because it’s a vegetable fat stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. Protect your oils from going bad; store foods, namely good oils away from sunlight and heat.

Here are more tips for protecting and optimizing your food oils:

  1. Keep in a cool, dark place -darkness is key because light will definitely oxidize the fats in olive oil and other good fats;
  2. Purchase smaller bottles rather than larger to ensure freshness
  3. Immediately replace the cap after each pour, keeping bottles tightly capped;
  4. Add olive oil or other healthy oils to foods after cooking.
  5. Avoid leaving food out exposing it to air; the longer food sits around, the greater the likelihood of oxidation.

The more saturated fat contained in an oil, the less susceptible it is to rancidity.

With respect to light, purchase oils in bottles made from darker-tinted glass. They will usually be dark brown or dark green in glass color. Also, store your oils, almond butter and nuts in a cabinet that is lightproof. With respect to heat, many oils can be kept fresh if stored in the refrigerator where the temperature remains continuously low. To learn more, do your research to understand the chemical composition of an oil. This is will be a key factor in preventing the risk of rancidity and potential health issues. Remember 1 key basic principle involved in saturated and unsaturated fats: The more saturated fat contained in an oil, the less susceptible it is to rancidity. The greater the amount of unsaturated fat in an oil, the more likely it is to become rancid. Remember, fat heals, protects and satisfies us—but only when it’s kept fresh for our stomach and taste buds.

Beyond cooking, trainers need to educate their clients on the many functions of fat once converted and stored in the body. Fat does not make us fat. We need fat to metabolize fat. Consuming good essential fats is necessary for our survival. Learn more on the role of fats and other macronutrients in NAFC Nutrition Coach, Sports Performance and Wellness Consultant today. Stay in the game and keep learning!

Recipe by Tammy@thefitprofoodie.com