Choose the right cooking fats

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'Even the healthiest fats can become major health hazards if they are wrongly used as cooking fats. If a fat is to be used safely in cooking, it must be one of only a few that are able to resist chemical breakdown, rancidity and oxidation. Fats that break down during cooking form dangerous free radicals and should never be consumed. Free radicals speed the aging process and shorten the path to degenerative disease. So when you decide to cook with fats, choosing the right fat or oil is critical.

The important factor in determining a fat’s resistance to oxidation and its potential for becoming rancid during cooking is the degree of saturation of the fatty acids it contains. Saturated fats have only single bonds in their fatty acid molecules, while monounsaturated fats have one double bond, and polyunsaturated fats have two or more double bonds. It is the double bonds that are chemically reactive to heat.'

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