When Cooking for the Family use Heart Healthy Fats

New data shows that it may not be the amount of fat that we eat in the diet which is a concern but the types of fats. Take for example the Mediterranean Diet- a diet with plenty of fat. The fats however in the Mediterranean diet are rich in good fats or heart healthy fats. For simplicity sake- we can describe fats as healthy and unhealthy.  Both healthy and unhealthy fats make up total fat. Unhealthy fats are labeled saturated and trans fats on the Nutrition Facts Labels and healthy fats are labeled polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Total Fat= Saturated fat + Trans Fat + Polyunsaturated Fat  + Monounsaturated Fat.

Surprisingly we have all heard that olive oil is heart healthy: high in monounsaturated fats a good fat. Olive oil alos conatins about 1% of polyunsaturated fat as well as 15% saturate fat. Olive oil does contain the most amount of mono unsaturated fats or heart healthy fat. But did you know that canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil are also high in the “good” fats? Take for example canola oil, which contains 61% mono unsaturated fat and 11% polyunsaturated fat- both good fats for a total of 72% (61 +11) heart healthy fats.


The bottom line is when choosing fats for cooking and for salad dressings- think heart healthy fats: Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil and Peanut Oil.