Coach G’s Nutrition Corner: Variety, the spice of life. Part 2 of 3!!!
By: Garrett Rolsma
Variety, the spice of life. Part 2 of 3!!!
Fat typically comes wrapped in a package with another nutrient, most often protein. For discussion sake, I am going to simply talk about oils and/or fat additives.
Saturated Fats: First thing that a lot of us think about when we hear the word fat is butter. Butter has been a staple in the “Standard American Diet” since its inception decades ago. It was one of the first things rationed during wartime and it is one of the first things used in the kitchen. Butter is very high in saturated fat and cholesterol and might need to be avoided if you have already high levels in your life (i.e. red meat consumption, heredity, Etc.). Butter is a cheap fat and for that reason you will see it added into a lot of foods items, and at a lot of restaurants. Another fat that is growing in popularity lately is coconut oil. I am not going to talk about it as a beauty product, but as a cooking oil. I like to use coconut oil when I would like to add flavor to a dish. But remember, just like butter, coconut oil is high in saturated fats. So, regarding your saturated fat consumption, think about the following. What type of meat do you eat? What type of oil to you prefer to cook with? If the answer is red meat and butter or coconut oil most of the days of the week. You may be consuming high amounts of saturated fats.
Monounsaturated Fats: Olive oil, a staple in the “Mediterranean diet” is packed with high levels of Mono and Polyunsaturated fats and has been dubbed a “healthy” fat because it has lower levels of saturated fat. Olive oil is a great alternative when cooking or as a salad dressing. Another great monounsaturated oil is avocado oil. This oil has a very high smoke point, so it can be a great oil when searing protein or cooking at high temperatures. Sneaking healthy fats into your nutrition can be as simple as pouring it over vegetables/salad, adding it into a smoothie, or cooking with it. Today there are numerous oils to choose from and depending on you, you may need a variety.
In conclusion, be proactive in your fats. Do your research, read the labels and be in control of your selections. Have options at your disposal when you are at home, you should have more than one fat to cook with. Try to think about what you want out of your fat before you start cooking with it. Do you need the fat to simply cook and unstick your pan? Try a “healthier” fat like olive or avocado oil. Are you hoping to increase the savory flavors of a dish? Go for butter or coconut oil. Again, variety is the spice of life.