Simple tips: move that olive oil away from the stove!

We went over saturated versus unsaturated fats.

Today let’s look at their stability.

Fats spoil when exposed to oxygen. Saturated fats are more resistant to this, but the polyunsaturated fats you store next to your stove to cook with are very receptacle to spoilage due to all of their less stable double bonds.

Here are some tips to keep your oil from spoiling and to keep it as healthy for you as possible:

  • Store it somewhere cool dark place away from light and heat – like a cabinet away from your oven
  • Do not keep it stored in plastic bottles. Chemicals from the bottle my leach into it.
  • Keep it sealed tightly
  • If your oil is being used to cook and you don’t care about the taste as much you can refrigerate it. It may turn cloudy and be harder to pour but it’s fine to use.
  • If you are using the oil for dipping, salad dressings, etc – things you really want to taste the oil in, you should buy in smaller amounts, store in a cool place, and use relatively quickly- about three months.

This applies to other great oils, like flax and grapeseed oil. You’ll notice flaxseed oil is sold at stores in the refridgerated section in dark, UV proof bottles.

Hope this tip helps a bit! I always kept a glass bottle with a spout of oil next to the stove till I learned it defeated the purpose.

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Chylo..wha? HDL, LDL and what are.

Science lesson time!

Here’s how you absorb lipids – and the end products.

Larger fat molecules are mixed with bile and become micelles. This allows fats to be moved to the intestinal cells. In intestinal cells, cholesterol and lipids are packed with protein. These are chylomicrons. Chylomicrons are released into the lymphatic system. They enter the bloodstream near the heart and then blood carries these lipids to the rest of your body for immediate use or storage.

As you know, fats and water don’t mix. Because proteins are surrounding the structure, these chylomicrons allow fats to be transported through the watery blood.

As the chylomicron goes through the body cells snatch up triglycerides from the chylomicrons and as it floats around it gets smaller and smaller. Eventually it gets back to your liver.

Here lipids your liver has been assembling and ones collected from the smaller chilomicron are packaged with more proteins as VLDL or very low density lipoproteins. This configuration is then shipped through the body again and cells again remove triglycerides, causing it to shrink. As triglycerides are taken up, the VLDL becomes mostly cholesterol. Now this is LDL (low-density lipoprotein). This continues to float through your body and pieces are taken up by cells.

Your body makes HDL (high-density lipoproteins) to remove cholesterol from cells and bring it back to the liver to be either recycled or to be disposed of. If you read my previous post you can see an instance where your body would need to collect some cholesterol.

For ways to raise your HDL levels, here’s a great article from about.com.

Why soluble fiber lowers cholesterol… (ya always hear it does but here is why)

I thought this was a cool fact. You always hear that fiber lowers cholesterol, but the why seems like a mystery. Here’s the scoop –

Bile helps you digest food. Basically in your stomach fat forms a layer on top and doesn’t mix in with the water soluble areas. Bile is an emulsifier and helps mix that up. After leaving the stomach, bile is reabsorbed by the small intestine and recycled. BUT if it sticks to some soluble fiber it continues on down and into your toilet. Your body needs bile so it makes more – and has to take from cholesterol in your body to make it, which lowers your overall levels of cholesterol. Voila!

Also to note – not all cholesterol is bad. It makes sex hormones, adrenal hormones, and vitamin D (as well as, obviously, bile). It’s also essential for the structure of our cell membranes.

Some easy sources of soluble fiber:

  • oatmeal/oat bran
  • lentils and beans
  • fruits and veggies
  • nuts
  • flaxseed

Nutrition: the facts about fats

Saw this link on Twitter and thought it had some good facts!

Nutrition: the facts about fats |

Entire books have been written about dietary fats, but the truth is that while few of us need to know the intricacies, we should know the basics. So here are some brief facts about the fats in food:

Some nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, K and carotenoids (antioxidants found in some fresh fruits and vegetables), require a little fat for absorption and so a drizzle of olive oil on a salad or vegetables, or a few seeds sprinkled on a fresh fruit is advisable. ((note from Meg: this is why when people eat only fat free salads.. well you get the idea. A little olive oil or some nuts sprinkled on top helps you absorb))

Omega 3 fats are perhaps the best known of the beneficial fats, found mostly in oily fish, walnuts, linseeds, soybeans/tofu and purslane. They help reduce blood pressure, alleviate inflammation, balance blood glucose, combat dry skin and may influence mood. ((note from Meg  – also in flax and chia seeds, which I regularly add to yogurt, ce

Saturated fat, of which there are several types, is typified by the white fat you see on the underside of poultry skin, or marbled through red meat. We can use very small amounts of saturated fats, but excess can encourage raised cholesterol. Perversely, one saturated fat, stearic acid, can lower cholesterol and you may be pleased to learn that it is found in chocolate. But a high-sugar content can negate the benefits, so go for very dark chocolate. In general however, saturated fats should be avoided.

Trans-fats are generally created in a laboratory and are solid at room temperature, thus useful to the food industry. They are mostly used in cakes, biscuits, confectionery, puddings and pizza, and are also popular with fast food restaurants as they are cheap and long-lasting. Also called hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) vegetable oil or vegetable shortening, trans fats can raise LDL (the bad cholesterol) while lowering HDL (the good type) as well as block absorption of good fats. Avoid in all forms.