Two healthy oils

The use of oils, specifically how you can use olive oil and peanut oil.

Oil is considered a fat that is a liquid at room temperature. Used for cooking or as an ingredient, some oils are healthier than others because they are heart healthy. To determine which oils are healthy a few things need to be taken into consideration: Which are saturated fats, trans fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. All oils have a smoke point. An oil’s smoke point is the temperature it can be heated to before it smokes. If an oil smokes it begins to break down and its chemical makeup changes, which can cause your food to taste bad.

Michigan State University Extension gives a fat breakdown:

  • Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and usually come from animal products and contain cholesterol.
  • Trans fats have undergone a chemical change and are found in many store bought baked goods and should rarely be consumed.
  • Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are considered beneficial and are found in vegetables, fish and nuts. These fats can help lower cholesterol.

There are numerous cooking oils available to use. Depending on what dish you’re making determines which oil should be used in its preparation. Two popular oils that are widely used are olive oil and peanut oil.

Olive oil is used in recipes and when cooking. It is great for sautéing. Olive oil has a smoke point of 375 degrees Fahrenheit and it available in a wide variety. Olive oil generally adds a unique flavor to any dish and the taste can depend on what types of olives were used to make the oil. They range from a light, fruity flavor to a nutty flavor.

If you are going to prepare a stir fry, peanut oil is recommended. This is because it has a high smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it can withstand high heat and has a very mild taste. Since it has such a high smoke point it doesn’t breakdown chemically as it heats up.

A person’s oil intake is dependent on age and gender. MyPlate has provided a chart to help you determine how much oil to consume called How Much is My Allowance for Oils?

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