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Sous Club Food News, Facts, and Fun Reviews

Here's All you need to know about using Dietary Fats and Oils when you cook!

allergykidDietary fats and oils are essential for your body. You should learn how to cook with them because they are important for good health and brain function. Good fats help all kinds of body systems work better. They are essential for brain function. Kids, are you still wondering what's the big deal about dietary fats and oils? Well, if you have food allergies it's a super BIG deal for you. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. You've got to eat plenty of it, especially if you've got food allergies or celiac disease. If you don't eat enough healthy fat, you'll run into all kinds of health problems. I bet you didn't know that.

I'll try to explain to you what it is and which kinds are better for you to eat than others, and how a good chef uses them in the kitchen. Of course, our club avoids the top 10 allergens, so we will only highlight fats that are also safe for folks with common allergens, too. (You won't find info about corn oil, peanut oil, or soy oil here!)

If you are like my little brother Dessie, who I wrote about in my story, Cilie Yack is Under Attack, then you probably spend a lot of time picking the fat off of your meat and setting it on the side of your plate. But did you know that your body actually needs to eat fats? Did you also know that fat helps your brain, protects your body's organs, and is needed to build healthy cells? Fat is important for helping you to feel full after you eat, too. It helps your body soak up all the good vitamins in your foods. Fat is also used when your body runs low on energy. There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. 

Psst! Oil floats on water because it has less DENSITY than water. (This means that the matter inside water is crammed together more tightly than the matter inside the oil!)

So what happens when your body doesn't get enough fat? Well, when good fats are missing for a long period of time you will start to get off balance. Your body will start to slow down. You will be tired more, worry more, get skin problems, and may even start to feel unhappy a lot. When it gets to be a real serious problem you will have what is called a 'deficiency' and this will eventually make you feel sick and run down.

Doctors suggest at least 25% to 35% of a 5-12 year old kid's diet should come from healthy fats. That could be anywhere from 40 to 85 grams of fat. Only 10% of the fat in your diet should be saturated fat, so don't think you can just eat bad junk to get it.

Getting the right amount of fat means that kids have their work cut out for them. Did you know that there's only about 15 grams of fat in a tablespoon of vegetable oil? This means you need at least 4 or 5 tablespoons of good fats each day. Spoon it on, everyone!

The skinny on food fats and Oils:

  • flaxseedsPolyunsaturated Fats (we're going to call these PUFAs), these are a liquid and they have stuff in them called essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs are important for keeping you healthy. They are not made inside our bodies and have to be eaten in certain kinds of foods like seeds, grains, nuts, and fish. If you have food allergies and are on a special diet, then you need to make sure you have enough EFAs. in your diet. If you don't, have enough you may get sick pretty often and have problems paying attention at school. Kids low on EFAs can also have growth problems and skin problems too. If you worry a lot and seem unhappy all the time, EFAs can help you feel better. Here are a few good sources of PUFAs that contain EFAs:
    • Borage oil (You need to take it as a supplement.)
    • Evening primrose oil (You need to take it as a supplement.)
    • Flaxseed oil (You can fry it up to 225°F, take it as a supplement, use it on salads, and bake with it. It is a GREAT replacement for eggs in recipes.)
    • Safflower oil (It can only be fried up to 225°F, so you should use it on salads.)
    • Sunflower oil (Use it on salads. It's smoke point is really low!)
  • Monounsaturated Fats, (we're going to call these MUFAs), these are a liquid too, but thicken in the fridge.
    • Avocado oil (You can fry it up to 525°F, bake with it, and use it as a yummy dip.)
    • Olive oil (You can fry it up to 375°F, bake with it, and use it as a salad dressing.)
    • Canola oil (You can fry it up to 460°F. Canola oil is made from the rapeseed plant. It is a man-made oil that was genetically engineered in Canada and some folks say that makes it unhealthy to eat.)
  • Saturated Fats (we're going to call these SFs), these are solid or almost solid.
    • Lard (You can bake or fry it up to 400°F. It is GREAT for pie crusts.)
    • Coconut oil  (You can bake or fry it up to 400°F. It is GREAT for baking.)
    • Palm oil (You can bake or fry it up to 455°F. It is GREAT for baking.)

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