We don’t need to belabor the importance of controlling your fat intake. You probably know by now that a high fat diet can increase your risk for heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (read how to lower your risk).Plus, fat makes you… fat. That’s because there’s a higher concentration of calories in a gram of fat versus a gram of carbohydrates and protein. The more calories you take in, the more you have to burn in order to stay within your body weight—so just think of how many hours you need to spend on a treadmill to pay for the steak you had for lunch?
But fats are not create equal. Certain oils actually have surprising health benefits, and may even lower your cholesterol levels.
This is one of the best sources of unsaturated fats. It is also very flavorful, and is used not just for cooking but for salads and bread dips. However, olive oil should not be used for frying food because it degenerates at very high temperatures, and has a low smoking point. It’s best for sautéing garlic and onions and other aromatics before adding meats or vegetables. It is also excellent for basting meats for grilling, or for pastas.
Canola oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acid and linoleic acid. These have great health benefits. They have been known to help manage blood pressure and inflammation, and improving the body’s ability to metabolize cholesterol.
Rice bran oil
Studies show that rice bran oil can lower cholesterol levels, boost your immune system and even combat free radicals (which hasten the aging process and can increase your risk for cancer). It is often used in baking and dipping sauces, but is also great for frying and salad dressings.
Sesame oil is frequently used in Asian dishes. It has a distinct flavor and aroma. It is also a great source of vitamins and minerals. Study show that sesame oil may help reduce your cholesterol levels and even your risk for heart disease. However, because sesame oil has a low smoking point, it should not be used for deep frying. It is best used for stir fries.
Photo from recipes.howstuffworks.com