Which oils do you choose to cook with?
We asked Registered Dietitian & BDA Media Spokesperson Elaine Allerton, to give us a mini oil masterclass.
- All fats are a combination of three fatty acids: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats provide essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins – so they’re an important part of your diet.
- Wherever possible replace saturated fats with SMALL amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- The average man should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day, and the average woman no more than 20g a day.
- Saturated fats (found in butter, lard, ghee, suet, palm oil and coconut oil) are solid at room temperature. Don’t consume large amounts of these, as they may contribute to heart disease.
- Monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil and rapeseed oil) are liquid at room temperature and are the healthiest fats as they lower “bad LDL cholesterol” and have no effect on “good HDL cholesterol” levels. Cook with rapeseed oil as it has a higher ‘smoke’ point, and save the extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings.
- Polyunsaturated fats (found in sunflower oil, sesame oil, corn oil, soya oil) are also liquid at room temperature, but have been found to lower both “bad” and “good” cholesterol.
- Store all oils in a cool, dark place away from heat and your stove, to prolong their life and guard against rancidity.
- Top tip: Instead of pouring oil straight from the bottle, use a spray oil or measure out your oils with a teaspoon.