Nutrition Facts for Fats and Oils
Butter is classified as a saturated fat. Celebrity chefs recommend cooking with butter for its unique flavor. Health professionals recommend avoiding butter due to its high saturated fat content and links to hearth disease.
No oil or fat is 100 percent saturated fat, monounsaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat. All oils and fats have a combination of saturated, mono and poly fats. The predominant fat determines how an oil or fat is classified. Butter, being 51 percent saturated fat, is classified as a saturated fat. Butter is also 21 percent monounsaturated fat and has small amounts of naturally occurring trans fats.
Fats and oils high in saturated fat are solid at room temperature which explains why coconut oil, which is 87 percent saturated fat, is solid at room temperature.
Recent studies affirm fats and oils high in mono and poly unsaturated fats are healthy in moderation. You should obtain about 30 percent of your calories from fat. Preferably mono and poly unsaturated fats which also contain saturated fat. Your body needs fat to obtain and absorb fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K.
Animal fats have small amounts of cholesterol with beef suet having the most at 31 mg per tablespoon (15ml). Vegetable oils and margarine have no cholesterol.
You can use this table to select fats and oils in your diet. Click here for a downloadable PDF file.