My 4 Favorite Healthy Fats
By Certified WACS Global Master Chef Karl Guggemos, Senior Culinary Advisor at HMS.
Today let’s talk about fats…
Growing up, I loved to eat and cook with all fats. I didn’t discriminate and neither did my mother. She used butter and margarine with loads of trans fats. We also enjoyed animal fat, preferably pork fat. My “mother-in-law” had a special ceremony. For breakfast, she would first cook the bacon and then fry the eggs in the bacon fat. Yes, it was delicious, not so healthy, but definitely delicious.
The fact is that fats are essential in our diet because they support important body functions such as:
- Energy storage
- Lubrication of skin
- Insulation from cold
- Support of Cell Membranes
- Transportation of fat-soluble vitamins (ADEK)
- Support of Hormone Formation
As with any other food, moderation and the right balance is key to enjoying all the benefits they provide.
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Use it in salad dressings, when sautéing savory dishes and in rubs for various proteins.
- Warm olive oil and crushed garlic is the perfect seasoning for pretzels, baked corn chips and other like snacks.
- Put the oil in a spray bottle and lightly spray the food then toss in the garlic.
- Dark Chocolate
Aside from being a healthy fat, chocolate is also rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals.
- Choose a chocolate that has a high % (70-85 %) of coco fat or
- Choose plain pure chocolate
- eat a few ribs as a snack
- add it to a hot breakfast cereal such as oatmeal
- eat it in the evening with a lovely beverage
Note: Moderation is key as chocolate is high in calories.
- Coconut Fat
Coconut fat has great health benefits. It is:
- Rich in medium – chain fatty acids
- Easy to digest and not easily stored as body fat
- Known to support brain health.
Coconut fat is a great substitute for butter when baking. I use about 30-40 % less butter and replace it with coconut fat. Besides the health benefits in baking, it also adds a nice flavor to baked goods.
No list of great fats is complete without mentioning avocados. They are one of the healthy super foods and rightly so. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and have more protein than any other fruit. Their uses are almost endless – from avocado ice cream to a fat substitute in baking to eating it raw in sandwiches and salads.
Final thought: try mixing coconut cream and avocados to make a delicious whipped cream substitute.