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Fat is Back – The 411 on Oils


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Nowadays, everything from rice bran to coconut oil line grocery store shelves.  All of these foods are spouting various health claims.  Should you switch? Reading this information will help you decide what is right for you and your family.  It’s important to know which oil you can safely incorporate into your family’s food plan.   It’s important to educate yourself on all the varieties of oil out there on the market.


This neutral-flavored oil has a fairly even ratio of poly- and monounsaturated and saturated fats, and has been used in some restaurants in place of trans fat-loaded partially hydrogenated oils to fry foods. Rice bran oil contains a higher level of the antioxidant tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E claimed (but not proven) to prevent some cancers and lower cholesterol.


Refined or hydrogenated coconut oil used in processed foods like baked goods, nondairy creamers and movie theater popcorn because of its neutral flavor and relatively long shelf life.  Since it’s a whopping 91 percent saturated fat, its best use may be outside the kitchen—as a skin moisturizer!


Also a great source of monounsaturated fats and among the lowest in saturated fat. canola oil is your best choice for a multipurpose oil for frying, sauteing. baking and marinades. Both canola and light olive oils have indistinct flavors, but canola is higher in omega-3 fats, which protect against heart disease and autoimmune diseases.


Slightly higher in saturated fat than canola and olive oils, refined peanut oil adds a mild nutty flavor to fried foods and is safe for people with peanut allergies.  It’s a good choice for frying because it can stand up to high heat.  More intensely flavored roasted peanut oil is best used to add flavor to Southeast Asian dishes or drizzled over grilled fish and vegetables.


Traditionally used in Asian and Indian cuisines, sesame oils are low in saturated fat. Nutty in flavor, light sesame oil is used primarily for stir-frying. Dark sesame oil has a rich, bold taste so it’s used in smaller quantities to add classic Chinese take-out flavor to your dishes.


Rich in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats, extra virgin olive oil is fruity and tangy—save it for drizzling over soups, pastas, salads and toasted bread. “Light” olive is lighter in flavor and color (not in calories or fat); “‘pure” is typically a blend of refined olive’ oil and virgin..  Use these milder versions for grilling, roasting and sauteing.


Usually a blend of corn, soybean and/or sunflower oils, this neutral-flavored oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated fats.   A good multitasker in the kitchen, vegetable oil is a decent backup choice to omega-3-rich canola oil.

FAT FACT:  Limit your daily fat intake to about 400 calories—a little more than three tablespoons of cooking oil.

I stopped using mayonnaise awhile ago as an ingredient in my fish recipes.  I substituted extra virgin olive oil with delicious results! Try this yummy Flax-Breaded Flounder recipe and see for yourself!



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About Rochelle Rothman


"Rochelle is a Mom of six and Bubie to many more, kinaraha! Her cookbook can be seen at www.notjustacookbook.com. It also features many “multi-ethnic” recipes that were adapted for the kosher cook. Rochelle’s book examines food around the year by month. Her new DVD recipe organizer includes the book. What a GREAT gift! Rochelle is available for cooking demo events for fundraisers, hotels, stores, as well as private Tupperware demonstrations. Rochelle is often asked to share her amazing Freezer Tricks demonstration at many locations including several national televsion shows. She is a columnist in the FJJ (Flatbush Jewish Journal) and The Jewish Press, plus a contributor to other publications. Contact her at www.my.tupperware.com/rochellerothman.




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