When we say ‘fats’, it includes butter, lard, oils all of which are made of small units called fatty acids which have a specific chemical structure. They are classified as saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. All fats contain all these 3 types of fatty acids, but in varying amounts and are classified by the one that makes up the most percentage. Example: Butter is termed as a saturated fat since it contains the maximum number of saturated fatty acids.
How do I spot them?
-Saturated fats like butter, lard are always solid at room temperature and increase the risk of heart diseases. So a diet in high ‘saturated fats’ should be avoided as far as possible.
-Monounsaturated fats include peanut oil, olive oil, etc. which are liquid at room temperature, but turn cloudy when kept in the fridge. They help to reduce cholesterol levels and in decreasing the risk of heart diseases.
-Polyunsaturated fats like sunflower oil, canola oil will always be in liquid form even when kept in the fridge. Like monounsaturated fats, these also have anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the risks of heart conditions.
Which oil to choose?
The choice is obvious. Choose an oil that contains either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats over saturated fats for healthy eating. Stock your kitchen with a variety of these oils depending on the kind of cooking, their nutritional value and the cost. Here are our top 4 picks for you.