Cholesterol and Cooking: Fats and Oils
For low-cholesterol cooking, use the right fats in the right amounts.
Fats and Oils to Have on Hand continued...
Vegetable oils are the least expensive and the most versatile. For variety, Newgent recommends avocado, almond, and grapeseed oils.
And what about olive oil?
"You can cook with olive oil, but avoid exposing extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, and nut oils, such as walnut, to high heat, because they will burn," Krieger says. These oils are best suited to drizzling on cooked vegetables and salads."
With the exception of palm and coconut, oils are nutrition experts' preferred choice for cooking and flavoring foods. But you don't need to give up butter or margarine in the name of heart health. Just limit their intake, and choose soft spreads more often.
Low Cholesterol: Get Cooking!
Bissex advises several approaches to low-cholesterol cooking:
- Use less fat and oil in recipes. Reduce the amount of stick margarine called for in a quick bread recipe, for example.
- Substitute healthier options for all the fat a recipe calls for, such as swapping canola oil for shortening.
- Choose healthier options and use less, such as using 1/4 cup olive oil instead of 1/2 cup butter.
Newgent notes that you can also swap out some fat in favor of a fat-free alternative. For example, applesauce or fat-free sour cream can replace part of the fat called for in recipes for pancakes and muffins.
Whatever method you choose, the result is the same: less saturated and trans fat in your foods.
Here are some healthy swaps for low-cholesterol cooking from our nutrition experts:
Instead of: Try:
1 cup sour cream 1 cup low-fat Greek-style yogurt
1 Tbsp. butter (for sauteing) 1 tsp. butter + 1 1/2 tsp. canola or any vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter (in quick bread) 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
-OR 1/4 cup canola oil + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
-OR 1/2 cup soft spread
-OR 1/4 cup canola oil + 1/4 cup mashed banana
-OR 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup drained, pureed silken tofu
1/2 cup butter (in brownies) 1/4 cup oil + 3 Tbsp. pureed dried plums