How to Consume Fats in a Healthier Way

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First things first: FATS are an IMPORTANT food group and are ESSENTIAL for our daily diets.  Fats allow for proper brain function and overall development.  However, how we choose to consume these fats can make a world of difference!

Fats are broken down into different categories based off of their chemical structure, which allows us to determine the nutritional value and advantage of each oil.  Cool, right?! Unsaturated fats are the oils that DO NOT contain cholesterol, are liquid in form, and are often considered the “healthy fats”.  Saturated fats are the oils that DO contain cholesterol, are solid in form, and are often considered the “non-healthy” fats (Just remember Saturated = Solid).  Trans fats are often regarded as the worst fat because vegetable oils are chemically changed through an industrialized process to become solids.  By reading the food label of products you can determine, which fats are added!

Unsaturated fats:

Olive, Sunflower, Safflower, Canola, Vegetable, Peanut, Corn, Soybean oils

Saturated fats:

Coconut, Butter, Lard, Chicken Fat, Beef Suet, Palm oils

Trans fats:

Partially hydrogenated oils (think fried foods)

Healthy Fat Substitutes

By comparing the different categories of fats, it also allows us to make healthy substitutes for these fats in order to improve our cardiovascular & dietary health. When thinking about substitutions, think about replacing saturated/trans fats with unsaturated fats. Here are a few healthy and kid-friendly substitutions!

1. Avocados instead of Butter

– Example: Using avocados in place of the butter in your brownie recipe. The chocolate will hide the green color & you will be adding in additional nutritional value!

2. Plain Yogurt instead of Mayonnaise

– Making coleslaw, potato salad, or a homemade dressing? Greek yogurt will add an extra flavor to your dish while lowering the fat intake!

3. Applesauce instead of Oil

– If you are baking, add applesauce to the recipe while eliminating the oil ingredient.

4. Greek Yogurt instead of Margarine

– Using Greek yogurt instead of margarine in mashed potatoes will make this traditional dish healthy & delicious!

Should you make these substitutions for every dish? You certainly don’t need to! While it is important to consume fats in a moderation, there is no such thing as a “bad” ingredient. However, make it your challenge to try new healthier fat substitutions in your favorite recipes! Have your own healthy fat substitution? Share yours  today and help inspire the rest of us accepting the challenge 🙂

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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