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Replacing bad fats, such as saturated and trans fats, with healthier ones in your diet can be good for your heart, overall health and well-being.

One way to limit the bad fat and increase the good is to examine your cooking oil. There are many varieties out there, but you should be able to cover all your cooking needs by having two options on hand – one good for baking, and one good for pan searing or sautéing.

Here is a list of cooking oils that contain healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Canola – good for baking and stir frying
  • Corn – good for light sautéing and low-heat baking
  • Olive – best pick overall because of its health properties and flexibility in the kitchen. Use it for pan searing, baking and in dressings
  • Peanut – great for stir frying
  • Sunflower or avocado oil – for use if you must deep fry. These oils have high smoking points and are healthier than other frying oils


Blends of these oils, often sold under the name “vegetable oil,” can also be good choices. Try to limit palm oil as it is high in saturated fat. Coconut oil has recently become popular to use, and many people mistakenly believe it to be one of the healthier options. In reality, it has a lot of saturated fat.

Remember that oil is a fat, and fat calories are still fat calories, no matter which type of oil you use. Limit the oil you use to just what is needed.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.


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