NutriPro All About Balance – Understanding fats and oils

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fats and oils are part of a healthy diet and contribute to both the flavour and texture of many foods. However, health authorities recommend limiting the amount of fat we consume – particularly saturated fats.

Excess consumption of saturated fats is associated with increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The goal is to replace sources high in saturated fats (typically solid at room temperature) with healthy oils rich in unsaturated fats, whenever possible.
Use of fats and oils should be limited to small amounts where they can deliver maximum flavour impact. Remember that an ideal portion is the size of a fingertip. When choosing oils, consider the type of fat they contain, whether their heat stability (smoke point) is appropriate for the application, and of course, the flavour profile.

Did you know?
Coconut oil may have a reputation as a healthy food ingredient, however it is rich in a particular saturated fat that is associated with increased LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Refined oils vs unrefined oils
Some oils are refined to remove unwanted tastes, scents, colours or impurities, but unrefined oils like virgin or extra virgin olive oil are likely to contain more beneficial antioxidants. Refined oils are clear oils with neutral flavour. They work well for baking or infusions having little effect on the taste of your finished dish.

Cold pressed or virgin oils
Rich in flavour, they provide optimum taste in dressings and sautéing.

Heat-stable oils
Because of their high smoke points, these oils work best for deep-frying or cooking at high temperatures.

Liquid or solid?
Fats and oils high in saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature, while oils high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature.

Read more on the increasing pressure from regulators and general public on food service operators regarding their contribution to the global obesity rise:

Oversized meals have been shown to be a factor in obesity (01.2019)

Larger portion servings in restaurants are a global issue (03.2019)

Fast food vs fast casual – Which has more calories? (02.2019)

Restaurants have gotten a hall pass on obesity and it must end (08.2018)

Death by diet: the race to transform the world's bad food habits (04.2019)