Using healthier fats
You may have been told to reduce the amount of saturated and trans fat in your diet because of the effects these fats can have on your blood cholesterol level. A diet high in saturated fat can raise your total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart disease. Trans fat can also raise LDL cholesterol levels and additionally lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
Foods that are high in saturated fat include fatty red meats, butter, cheese, cream, whole milk and coconut oil. Foods high in trans fat include some margarines and shortening. Other sources of trans fat include many commercially baked goods, such as crackers, cookies and cakes, and commercially fried foods, such as French fries and donuts.
When cooking at home, try replacing butter, margarine that contains trans fat, and shortening with liquid vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed, peanut, olive, safflower or sunflower oils. For example, oil can be used in place of butter when sautéing vegetables or browning meats. However, I’ve had mixed results when substituting oil for the solid fat in quick breads, cakes, cookies and pie crusts and prefer to use recipes that have been designed to use oil.