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Healthy Fats and Low-Fat Cooking Ideas

Remember, all fats are loaded with calories, so use them sparingly.

 

Fat
Benefits
Uses
Olive OilIs a monounsaturated fat that contains 30-40 antioxidants. When substituted for butter or other oils, it promotes a healthy heart.Drizzle lightly on bread instead of butter. Saute vegetables in olive oil and garlic for extra flavor. Cut up fresh potatoes, toss in a dash of oil, and roast in the oven at 400 F for healthier french fries.
Canola OilIs a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of heart disease and may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke.Use in cooking whenever you don't want the stronger flavor of olive oil. Toss with root vegetables, then roast in the oven. Mix a dash of canola oil with lemon juice and salt and pepper, and toss in a salad of apples, fennel, and greens. Use instead of margarine or shortening to grease cookware.
Fish: Salmon, Tuna, Trout, Striped Bass, Mackerel, Herring, SardinesDietary omega-3 fatty acids from fish help reduce the risks of heart disease and sudden cardiac death.Baste a fillet of salmon with a teaspoon of olive oil, toss on some sprigs of rosemary or thyme, some salt and pepper, then roast for 17 minutes at 250 degrees. Make a light tuna salad with a bit of olive oil or canola oil instead of mayonnaise. Brush a fillet of trout with olive oil and lemon, then coat with seasoned breadcrumbs and bake for Mediterranean taste.
Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, PeanutsContain poly- and monounsaturated fats that, when substituted for other fatty foods, can help reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels.Eat raw, as a healthy snack, instead of chips or crackers. Pulverize into crumbs and use to bread a trout fillet, then saute lightly in canola oil. *Avoid nuts roasted with oil and salt.
Flaxseeds or Hemp SeedsAre rich in the omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps control inflammation and blood pressure, as well as other body functions.Flaxseeds spoil easily, so buy them fresh and keep them in the fridge. Toss into salads, soups, stews, or casseroles.
AvocadosAre high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and are good sources of vitamins E and C, fiber, folate, and potassium. And they’re cholesterol-free.Choose avocados that are firm. When they give under gentle pressure, they’re ripe. If they feel squishy, they’re too ripe. Add chopped or sliced avocado to salads, use in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches, or blend into smoothies.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 20, 2013
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