Even the food pyramid, which has now been retired, had fats in the mix. At the top of the pyramid was a small triangle where fats lived. In other words, have foods that are fatty in nature in moderation. This included butter, oils of various kinds, nuts and other fatty foods.
But today, health experts and doctors feel differently about fats in foods. Instead of being a small triangle at the top of the pyramid, fats have become a staple of a healthy diet.
One of the healthiest diets on the planet is the Mediterranean diet, and we all know that fats are no stranger to this way of eating. In places like Spain, southern France, Italy and Greece, olive oil is an essential food and is included in almost all meals and snacks. It’s drizzled on meats, breads, tomatoes, cheeses and basically everything else.
In the United States and other parts of the Western World, however, fats have been demonized, and it’s time for this to change. Moreover, the fats that were pushed were those that contained omega-6 fatty acids. These include fats like vegetable and canola oil. Omega-6 fatty acids are inflammatory to the body and may cause serious illnesses.
Instead of trying to avoid cooking with fats altogether, however, new research suggests that people try to cook with the right fats. The right fats include animal stable fats like lard and butter. Plant-based fats include those like coconut oil and olive oil. These can help the heart and brain function better because they have essential omega-3 fatty acids in them.
The next time you need to sauté or fry something for your meal, don’t worry. This can still be a healthy element of your diet. The only key is to make sure that you’re using the right fats.