What you cook with is as important as the foods you cook — and that means making wise choices when it comes to cooking oils and fats that add taste to meals and, of course, prevent foods from sticking to pans and pots.
There are a number of healthy oils out there that will contribute to your health and weight loss goals. But it’s also important to know which aren’t going to do you any favors, and can actually be really unhealthy.
This is the one ingredient you should never cook with because it causes stomach rolls, according to nutritionists.
In the war between butter and margarine, butter may win out — for one very good reason: many brands of margarine contain trans fats.
In simple terms, trans fatty acids are a type of fat created by adding hydrogen to an unsaturated fat, such as liquid vegetable oil,” reports Live Science. “The addition of the hydrogen makes the fat more solid, and allows for a longer shelf life. Usually this addition is manmade process, but small amounts of trans fat can also occur naturally in some meat and dairy products.”
According to one study, eating a diet that is high in trans fat induces abdominal fat and changes insulin sensitivity in monkeys.
And many experts say the same holds true for humans.
According to Healthline: “Partially hydrogenated oils can affect heart health because they increase “bad” (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) cholesterol and lower “good” (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) cholesterol. On the other hand, a fully hydrogenated oil contains very little trans fat, mostly saturated fat, and doesn’t carry the same health risks as trans fat.”
Some labels will list, outright, the percentage of trans fat in its product. But, according to the FDA, company can label a food free of trans fats if the actual content is 0.5 grams per serving or less, Healthline reports.
A better way to figure out if an ingredients contains trans fat is by reading the ingredient list. If “partially hydrogenated oil” is on the list, it contains trans fat.
Fortunately, most whole foods and even many processed foods do not contain trans fat — but it’s important to be careful with cooking oils and fat.
Margarine and vegetable shortening are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to trans fat.
You can avoid trans fat in cooking oils altogether by opting for healthier vegetable oils like olive, safflower, or avocado oils.