Olives, most nuts such as almonds, macadamias, rapeseed and avocado are all examples of foods containing predominantly monounsaturated fats. Mainstream recommendations are to use monounsaturated oils for cooking but should we really be doing this?
From a chemical standpoint, monounsaturated fats are simply fats that have one double-bonded (unsaturated) carbon in the molecule. Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature
Oils made from cold pressing nuts and fruits containing predominantly monounsaturated fats will be a good sources of this nutrient. However to prevent damage from oxidation, monounsaturated oils should not be heated to high temperatures (above 150°C)
- To preserve nutrients and prevent damage from oxidation use monounsaturated oils in lower temperature cooking such as making sauces (below 150°C) but avoid using when frying or high temperature roasting/baking (above 150°C).
- Monounsaturated oils may be used as dressings and poured onto dishes after they have been cooked for additional flavour and nutrients.
- Use soaked almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts etc to make nut butter
Some Benefits of Monounsaturated Fats
- More heat stable than polyunsaturated fats but less heat stable than saturated fats
- Source of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E which is a potent anti-oxident
- Help to lower cholesterol