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Fats in the Kitchen

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Fats in the Kitchen

If you’re not sure which healthy fats to keep on hand, this helpful guide will make selection a snap.

To enjoy the healthiest results, choose organic, unrefined fats. Think about the flavor you want, and choose the appropriate fat for the cooking heat. Experiment with our experts’ favorites, listed here by cooking-heat recommendations — or keep things simple and stick with extra-virgin olive oil, butter or ghee, and coconut oil.

FAT COOKING
HEAT
FAT
SOURCE
PREDOMINANT
FAT TYPE
STORAGE
INSTRUCTIONS
GOOD TO KNOW
Ghee High Animal dairy Saturated Keep in a cool,
dark place
Ghee is butter that has been clarified
to remove the milk solids; it has a much higher smoke point than butter
Coconut Oil Medium-high Fruit Saturated Keep in a cool, dark place This is a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have numerous health benefits.
Butter Medium Animal dairy Saturated Keep in a cool, dark place, or refrigerate Butter from grassfed cows delivers health-promoting fatty acids and other nutrients.
Extra-Virgin
Olive Oil
Medium Fruit Monounsaturated Refrigerate Choose unfiltered oil: cloudiness indicates the presence of phytochemicals and other healthy compounds.
Avocado Oil Medium Fruit Monounsaturated Refrigerate This mild-flavored oil is high in antioxidant carotenoids including beta-carotene.
Lard,
Rendered Bacon Fat,
Schmaltz
Medium Animal fat Monounsaturated Refrigerate For the healthiest nutrient profile, choose organic, unprocessed lard from animals that had access to sunlight and forage.
Sesame- Seed Oil Low Seed Polyunsaturated Refrigerate While most polyunsaturated fats should not be heated, sesame-seed oil works well in low-heat cooking.
Walnut Oil None Nut Polyunsaturated Refrigerate Use in raw preparations, such as salad dressings, drizzles, and dips.
Flaxseed Oil None Seed Polyunsaturated Refrigerate This is one of the richest sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.
Hemp- Seed Oil None Seed Polyunsaturated Refrigerate Nutty and herbal in flavor, this is interchangeable with flaxseed oil.

This originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Experience Life. To view the full version see “The Facts About Fat.”

Anjula Razdan is a Minneapolis-based health writer.

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