Cooking Oils 102

Hello lovely readers! So, I left you hanging with my last blog post regarding cooking oils…sorry about that. I have had a lot going on with the business / lotion side of Scratch Mommy (check out my shop…so exciting). 🙂

Today I am writing about the cooking oils fats I use in my scratch kitchen. You learned in my last blog post that most all of the cooking oils you find on the grocery store shelves are not good for you, are made in a laboratory by extreme processing, and are actually quite toxic! I left you last time by saying that I use butter (and a few other choice fats) in all of my cooking.

Am I Crazy!?? Saturated Fats!?? Heaven Forbid!!!!

No, I am not crazy (at least in this line of thought) and I’ll show you today why.

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Correlation Does Not Equal Causation, However…

I (and many, many others like me) believe that there is something to be said for the ways that our ancestors prepared and ate their foods. I made mention in my last post that our ancestors did not have anywhere close to the epidemics we see today…

  • High cholesterol
  • Heart issues
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Food allergies
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • …the list goes on and on

We started seeing these problems increase (greatly) in numbers really in fairly recent times. What did our ancestors eat? Fats, and lots of them. They indulged in loads of red meats, butters, lards, and other saturated fats. However, something basically burned into my head through my science-based bachelor and master programs (and PhD coursework) is that “correlation does not equal causation.” Let’s explore this statement.

This basically means that just because there is a correlation or a relationship between things (ex. It is a fact that when it’s hot outside more crimes occur) does not mean that one thing causes the other (ex. Is it really the heat alone as the determining factor for why more crimes occur, or could it be because more people are outside during warm months of the year…or even something else).

My point in bringing this up is that yes…while it is true that our ancestors ate loads of saturated fats, does that mean that the saturated fats caused them to be healthier? Not necessarily. It’s probably true that our ancestors worked a lot harder than we did in hunting and gathering their foods, preparing their foods, working in their gardens, and so on. It’s true that they expended more energy than us (most of us), for sure.

All of that said, it is worth mentioning that heart disease rates increased drastically between 1920 and 1960. It was during these years that heart disease became America’s number one killer.

During the same period butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four.1

Natural ways of preparing foods worked very well for our ancestors for years and years. It wasn’t until America became industrialized and started looking for “healthier (READ: easier and cheaper) ways” to do pretty much everything, that cooking oils hit the scene. In my last blog post you learned about the dangers of fairly new to our culture processed polyunsaturated fats, so let’s talk a bit about saturated fats that have been around for years, and years, and years.

Why I Eat Butter

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I wrote a little last time about how unsaturated fats (UF) are unstable and can quickly go bad during cooking and in our body. The reason for this is in the chemistry make up of the bonds. UF have a double or triple bond somewhere in the carbon chain, while in saturated fats (SF) each carbon in a chain has all of it’s hydrogens in place, meaning that there are no double or triple bonds. This is where the instability comes into place. These double or triple bonds lead to instability in our bodies, which leads to excess free radicals, which leads to heart problems, inflammation in our digestive systems, and cancers. Yikes!

I also mentioned in my last post the whole concern with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. I have learned that omega-3 fatty acids (which are crucial for health) are best utilized by our bodies when eaten along with saturated fats, such as butter.

Need More Research?

I strongly suggest that you go to Weston A Price‘s home on the web and read through articles and research they have posted. Here is a great article to get you started. Be ready for your mind to be blown…things you thought you knew about fats are about to be challenged. Please have an open mind and really think through the arguments for both sides of this issue.

So, What Saturated Fats Do I Use?

  • Real butter from grass-fed cows (this is my favorite!)
  • Coconut oil- always buy organic, virgin, cold-pressed (Tropical Traditions is my favorite!) Coconut oil is FULL of good for you things. Learn more at the Tropical Traditions Website. Oh, and I don’t use coconut oil for high temp frying. It doesn’t have a super high smoke point.
  • Bacon grease (I buy no nitrate added bacon, local when I can)
  • Palm shortening (make sure it has been sustainably sourced!)

I do use real, extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil (from a respectable source…read this to learn if your olive oil is fake), but NEVER for cooking.

I also use organic avocado, almond, and sesame oils from time to time, but it is important to know how each of these oils acts while cooking. Oh…and I never use grapeseed oil. (Well…occasionally on a salad, but that’s rare). Read this to understand why.

I am excited to start dabbling more with tallow and lard.

Lose Fat By Eating Fat!?

Yes, it’s true. Remember how unsaturated fats are unstable in your body and cause inflammation in your digestive system? This will absolutely hamper any weight loss plans you have in place. These types of fats are not meant to be processed by our bodies in large amounts, which we eat today.

I started eating healthy, real foods months ago. Since I switched almost totally over to saturated fats for my cooking I’ve lost weight. Not just a little. In the past two months alone, I’ve lost just over 20 lbs. I feel amazing. My energy levels are soaring. It has been nothing short of amazing for me.

So, I say go toss your rancid cooking oils and margarines (chemical-filled tubs of YUCK) and replace them with some of the healthy fats I mentioned above. Until next time…

Jess, aka Scratch Mommy

This post was shared at– The HomeAcre Hop, Sunday School Blog Carnival.

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