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coconut-oilI love trying out exciting new food trends and ingredients in the kitchen! I do have to be careful sometimes because not all trends are good trends.  You may have heard the recent news regarding the popular ingredient, coconut oil.  In recent years, coconut oil has gained popularity for its variety of uses including both beauty and in the kitchen.  While coconut oil can be tasty and does have its occasional place in the kitchen, a recent study has compelled the American Heart Association to urge people to choose better sources fats that are not as high in saturated fat as coconut oil is.

Coconut oil is 82% saturated fat, which is very high!  Saturated fat is something everyone should limit in their diet because eating too much of it can contribute to high levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) which puts you at risk for heart disease.

Luckily, there are many other delicious oils that we can use for cooking that will give us healthy, unsaturated fats that are great for us!  Take a look below for other oil options to utilize when you’re sautéing your favorite vegetables or whipping up a homemade salad dressing.  We can also get our healthy fats by eating other tasty foods.  Even though these oils and foods are offering us nutrients that are healthy for us, it’s important to watch portion sizes to avoid consuming too many calories from them in one sitting!

 

Healthy Fats: Oils Healthy Fats: Foods
Canola Avocado
Corn Flaxseed
Olive Nuts and seeds*
Peanut Olives
Safflower Salmon (canned and fresh)
Soybean Tuna (canned** and fresh)
Sunflower Tofu
Vegetable  

 

*Nuts and seeds are a choking hazard for young children.

**Pregnant or breastfeeding women, in addition to children, should stick with light tuna only.

Written By:


Nutrition Education Specialist for the Massachusetts WIC Program

Nutrition Education Specialist for the Massachusetts WIC Program

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