28 Feb

Olive oil good substitute for other fats

If you want to know:Is olive oil a good choice when selecting cooking oils?
How can I substitute oil in a recipe that calls for butter or margarine?
What is the best way to store olive oil?
How much total fat is recommended per day?

Here are the answers from Susan Krumm,

Q: Is olive oil a good choice when selecting cooking oils?
A: Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids lower LDL cholesterol carriers, the so-called “bad” cholesterol, yet protect the HDL types of cholesterol carriers that help remove excess cholesterol from the body. Another advantage is that the monounsaturated fatty acids do not oxidize easily. Oxidized fats are harmful to body cells and structures and are believed to be involved in several chronic diseases.

Antioxidants protects fats and oil from oxidation. Olive oil is a rich source of these antioxidants, chiefly carotenes and tocopherols (different forms of vitamins A and E) and phenolic substances. All these antioxidants are called “minor components” or “Mcs.” Processing, such as hydrogenation and refining, can partially or completely destroy these Mcs.

Olive oil is different in that the highest quality and most expensive olive oil is simply pressed from the olives and labeled as “extra virgin” or “virgin” olive oil. It contains the most Mcs. It has a rich, fruity flavor and is dark green. Its full-bodied flavor enhances salads, vegetable dishes, marinades and sauces. It is ideal for basting chicken, fish and meats but cannot be used with high heat because of its low smoke point.

Extra light olive oils are refined and less expensive. They are known as refined olive oils and are derived from additional pressings and extractions of oil from the black olives. They can be totally lacking in phenolic substances and lower in other antioxidants. They are best for baking, stir-frying and sautéing at high temperatures because of their high smoke points (420 degrees and above). They are the cheapest of the olive oils. Many olive oils are mixtures of virgin and refined oils and priced accordingly. These olive oils are more multipurpose.

Q: How can I substitute oil in a recipe that calls for butter or margarine?

A: Use less oil in a recipe that calls for butter or margarine. Replace one teaspoon of butter or margarine with 3/4 teaspoon of oil. Two and one-fourth teaspoons of oil will replace one tablespoon of regular margarine or butter.

Q: What is the best way to store olive oil?

A: Store olive oils in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light. To maintain quality, it’s a good idea to put them in the refrigerator during the hot months. They may appear cloudy, but this does no harm to the oils. Just bring the oil back up to room temperature to clear clouding.

Q: How much total fat is recommended per day?

A: According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, the recommended total fat intake is between 20 to 35 percent of calories for adults, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.

A fat intake of 30 to 35 percent of calories is recommended for children 2 to 3 years of age and 25 to 35 percent of calories for children and adolescents 4 to 18 years of age.

A high intake of fat (greater than 35 percent of calories) generally increases saturated fat intake and makes it more difficult to avoid consuming excess calories. A low intake of fats and oils (less than 20 percent of calories) increases the risk of inadequate intakes of vitamin E and of essential fatty acids and may contribute to unfavorable changes in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.

Here are some tips for lowering trans fat intake:

• Choose liquid vegetable oils, or choose a soft tub margarine that contains little or no trans fats.

• Reduce intake of commercially prepared baked goods, snack foods, and processed foods, including fast foods. To be on the safe side, assume that all such products contain trans fats unless they are labeled otherwise.

• When foods containing partially hydrogenated oils can’t be avoided, choose products that list the partially hydrogenated oils near the end of the ingredient list.

• To avoid trans fats in restaurants, one strategy is to avoid deep-fried foods, since many restaurants continue to use partially hydrogenated oils in their fryers. You may be able to help change this cooking practice by asking your server, the chef or manager if the establishment uses trans-free oils.

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