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Foods that fight cholesterol: monounsaturated oils and delicious seafoods can help you eat well and avoid heart disease.

Most cooking oils look alike, but they aren't alike in the way they affect your health. Some oils are better for you than others. A few can actually help protect you against heart disease.

Lard, butter, and other shortenings are the cooking agents to avoid. They are high in saturated fats, which increase blood cholesterol and lead to clogged arteries. Most saturated fats come from animal products, but some are vegetable. Coconut and palm-kernel oils, for example, are high in saturated fats, and though they are little used for cooking, they are found in many processed foods, from cereals to candy bars to some microwave popcorns. Avoid them when possible.

Polyunsaturated oils are a step in the right direction. These include corn, cottonseed, safflower, sesame, soybean, and sunflower oils, which contain no cholesterol. Polyunsaturated oils actually help reduce blood cholesterol levels. But polyunsaturates' effects aren't all beneficial: they reduce bot"good"bad" cholesterol.

For a healthy heart your body needs less low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and more high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. By lowering both, you're not gaining much.

Fortunately, another group of oils seems to be just what the doctor ordered. The monounsaturates in avocado, olive, peanut, and canola oils reduce the LDL but do not affect the HDL. This increases the important HDL- to total-cholesterol- ratio and helps keep arteries from clogging.

Studies have shown that people who eat more monounsaturates have lower levels of bad cholesterol than those who simply eat a low-fat diet.

Does this mean you should throw out your corn oil and sunflower oil and use only monounsaturates? Not entirely. Researchers say a certain amount of the essential fatty acid in polyunsaturates is necessary for the body's system. You can help your heart by reducing your use of polyunsaturates and increasing your consumption of monounsaturated oils.

One of the best and newest monounsaturates is canola oil, which, at 6 percent saturated fat, is the lowest in saturated fats of all of the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Canola oil can be used on salads and for cooking.

Avocado oil has a delicate essence of avocado flavor and makes delicious mayonnaise or salad dressing. Because of its high smoke point, avocado oil is excellent for cooking.

Peanut oil has a nutty richness that adds flavor to Chinese stir-fry dishes.

Olive oil, a necessity in authentic Italian and Greek dishes, is good in salad dressing.

And what about those highly touted fish oils? Well, they are primarily polyunsaturates that contain the fatty acid omega-3, especially effective for lowering blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Cold ocean fish, particularly tuna, salmon, mackerel, and herring, have omega-3, as do cholesterol-rich shrimp and lobster (taken off the list of no-nos and declared desirable when eaten in moderation). Canola oil, soybeans, walnuts, walnut oil, and wheat germ are also sources of omega-3.

The following recipes contain all that is currently known to be good in cooking oils. You can eat them with added pleasure knowing you are doing something good for your heart.

Poached Salmon with Mustard Sauce

(Makes 10-12 servings)

2 quarts water

2 cups dry white wine

1 small onion, vertically sliced

4 lemon slices

10 peppercorns

3 parsley sprigs

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt, if desired

1 (5-6 lb.) whole fresh or frozen

Alaska salmon, thawed if necessary

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

Garnishes: sliced cucumber, lemon

slices, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and celery leaves

Mustard sauce (see recipe below)

Add water, wine, onion, lemon, and seasonings to poaching pan; bring to boil. Wrap salmon in cheesecloth; leave long ends on cloth to serve as handles for removing from poaching liquid. Immerse salmon in boiling liquid; add additional boiling water, if necessary, to cover salmon. Cover; reduce heat and simmer gently. Allow 8-10 minutes per pound or 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish at thickest part; poach until fish flakes easily when tested with fork. Remove salmon from liquid; gently remove skin and dark layer while still warm. Strain liquid; cool completely. Soften gelatin in 2 cups cooled liquid; heat to dissolve gelatin completely. Chill until mixture barely starts to thicken. Spoon gelatin mixture over salmon; use just enough to coat salmon completely. Chill 10 minutes. Decorate salmon with sliced cucumber; spoon thin layer of gelatin mixture over decorated salmon. Chill. Garnish platter with lemon slices, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and celery leaves, Serve with mustard sauce or one of the optional sauces, below.

Mustard sauce: Combine 2 cups plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon minced onion, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, and 1/8, teaspoon hotpepper sauce; mix well. Makes 2 cups.

Cucumber sauce: Combine 1 cup chopped cucumber, 1/2 cup chopped mild onion, 2 tablespoons each white vinegar and vegetable oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and coarsely ground pepper. Chill 1 hour. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Remoulade sauce: Combine 1 cup lowfat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped dill pickle, 2 teaspoons minced shallots or green onion, 1 teaspoon chopped capers, 2 minced anchovy fillets, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed chervil or tarragon. Chill 1 hour. Makes 1 cup.

Mexican Rice (Makes 6 cups)

2 cups uncooked brown rice

1 tablespoon Puritan vegetable

oil (canola)

1 1/2 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup chopped tomato

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired

Saute brown rice in vegetable oil in large saucepan 5-8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; cover and simmer 45-55 minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid.

When making chicken broth, be sure to remove all fat from liquid by freezing broth and scraping fat that has come to the surface.

Double Corn Muffins

(Makes 12 muffins)

1 cup cornmeal (high-lysine,

if available)

1 cup flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar, if desired

1 teaspoon salt, if desired

1/4 cup Puritan oil (canola)

1 cup skim milk

1 egg, beaten, or 2 egg whites, beaten

1 cup drained whole-kernel corn

Preheat oven to 425 [degrees] F. Combine dry ingredients. Combine oil, milk, and egg. Add liquid to dry ingredients; mix enough to dampen flour. Fold in corn. Spray muffin pan with vegetable spray, Fill muffin wells 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Choosing the Right Oils

Cooking oils to use more of

peanut oil

avocado oil

olive oil

canola oil

Cooking oils to use less of:

sesame oil

safflower oil

cottonseed oil

corn oil

sunflower oil

soybean oil

Cooking oils to avoid.,

coconut oil

palm-kernel oil

margarine with more saturated

than polyunsaturated fat


palm oil
COPYRIGHT 1989 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Simon, Allen
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Mar 1, 1989
Previous Article:Beating heart disease.
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