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Healthy Cooking Oils Buyer's Guide

Tips and recommendations for choosing the best cooking oils.

All food sources that we think of as “fats”—we’re talking butter, shortening, oils—are made up of fatty acids. These fatty acids have specific chemical shapes that affect both how the fat performs in cooking (or baking) and how the fat affects your health. These chemical shapes generally are classified as saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. All fats contain all three types but are classified by the type of fatty acid that makes up most of the fat. For example, since butter consists mostly of “saturated” fatty acids, it’s considered a “saturated fat.”

 

Saturated Fats

Examples: butter, lard, shortening

How to spot them: They’re solid at room temperature.

Health notes: A diet high in saturated fat has been linked with elevated cholesterol levels and increased risk for heart disease, so it’s best to limit use of them.

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