Under our theme of This and That, let’s cover which dietary oils are good or bad.
There is quite a bit to say about dietary oils, so, to keep it brief, I will break this topic up into short bits and spread it out over several weeks.
There are several different categories of dietary oils, which are considered a subset of dietary fats. And yes, we do need fats in our diet. It’s just good to know which ones!
So, we will start with ones you DON’T need…called trans fats. Some are naturally present in small amounts in milk and meat products. More problematic, however are trans fats that are artificially produced by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils in order to make them more solid. These are found mostly in packaged and processed foods and appear on the ingredient list as “partially hydrogenated oils.” They are inexpensive, last a long time, and help preserve the taste and texture of the food. Restaurants and fast food outlets have used trans fats to deep fry foods because this type of oil can be reused multiple times.
The bad news? Research has shown that trans fats raise bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, raise the risk of developing heart disease and stroke and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
So, many restaurants across the USA and in other countries have reduced or eliminated trans fats.
Individuals can reduce their exposure to these oils by eating fewer fried foods like donuts, baked goods like cakes, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers and stick margarine. And of course, read labels!
More to come!