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Best Fats and Oils for Cooking (Part II) & Coconut Shrimp Cakes edit

Dsc04836 Do not miss our previous related post: Fat Does not Make you Fat - Best Fats and oils for Cooking, and if you are feeling adventurous just try our delicious Coconut Meringue Pie (EN)  / Pie de Coco al Merengue (ES)

I've got a copy of the Eat Fat Lose Fat book since it came out in 2005. It was written by Dr. Mary Enig (international expert on the biochemistry of food and fat) and Sally Fallon (President of the Weston A. Price Foundation). They are also the authors of Nourishing Traditions, The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats, which was quoted in our previous post.

Based on more than two decades of research by world-renowned biochemist and lipids expert Dr. Mary Enig, Eat Fat Lose Fat flouts conventional wisdom by showing how so-called healthy vegetable oils (such as soybean and corn) are in large part responsible for our national obesity and health crises, while the satured fats (such as those found in coconut oil and butter) long considered harmful are, in fact, essential to weight loss and good health.

Trying to get more opinions on the Best Fats and Oils for Cooking subject, we decided to contact Ms. Sally Fallon. She promptly and gracefully replied what follows:

Any polyunsaturated oil is bad for cooking. The worst would be those with a high omega-3 content, such as canola and soy bean oil (and flax oil, obviously)  But the high omega-6 oils are also bad--corn, saffllower, sunflower, etc.  The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are very fragile and break down into dangerous free radicals when heated, especially in the presence of oxygen, as in cooking.

As for the mono unsaturated oils, the best for cooking is olive oil because of the very high levels of monounsaturates. Next would be peanut and cold-pressed sesame oils.  Sesame oil is better than peanut oil because it contains unique anti-oxidants that are activated by heat.  It needs to be cold pressed or the anti-oxidants will be ruined.

But best for cooking are the stable fats--tallow, suet, lard, butter, ghee, palm oil, etc.  Saturated fats are very stable and don't break down when heated. (Duck and goose fat are also good, these contain a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids.)

Hope that helps--if you look at Nourishing Traditions, the section in the Intro on fats, this is all enumerated there.

Now, hope you are ready for the simply delicious recipe to prepare Coconut-Shrimp Cakes! Just click on the "Read MORE" button to continue!

Dsc04739 From the Eat Fat Lose Fat book: Coconut -Shrimp Cakes

Makes 12 cakes (3 servings) - 379 calories per 4 cake serving

  • 1 pound small peeled and cooked shrimp
  • 2 scallions, minced very fine
  • 1/3 cup disiccated coconut, plus more for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons Mary's oil blend (page 188) or coconut oil
  • 1 cup sweet-and-sour soy sauce (page 239), for serving

Dsc04757 Pat shrimp dry, place in a blender, and pulse until a paste is formed. Add scallions, coconut, cilantro, and ginger and pulse until blended. Form shrimp mixture into 12 small cakes. Spread coconut for dredging on a large plate. Warm oil blend in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge shrimp mixture in coconut and fry gently untly golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with Sweet-and-Sour Soy Sauce.

Dsc04772 My version of this recipe: I didn't have shrimp, so I used the same amount of steamed langostinos I had left over from dinner the night before. I replaced "scallions" for basil and added a 1/4 cup of re-hidrated sun dried tomatoes, chopped. Everything else was the same though! To tell you the truth it was scrumptious.

I'll be back soon!


Local Chapter Weston A. Price Foundation - Panama & Ecuador

Local chapters help you find locally-grown organic and biodynamic vegetables, fruits and grains; and milk products, butter, eggs, chicken and meat from pasture-fed animals. They also represent the Weston A Price Foundation at local fairs and conferences and may host cooking classes, potluck dinners and other activities to help you learn to integrate properly prepared whole foods into your lifestyle. Local chapters may be able to put you in touch with health practitioners who share our philosophy and goals.

  • by Chef Melissa
  • March 27, 2007
  • 9:00 am


Picture of nika nika said on...
03.27.07 at 12:04 PM |

great post!  I do wonder tho.. with fats (lipids) there are two broad classes of issues one has to deal with when it comes to considering them in one’s diet:

1) free radical generation during breakdown (cooking), which is what this person is referring to when saying that the mono-unsats are best and poly-sats are bad.


2) also one has to consider the way that our bodies USE these different types of fats and fats of any kind at all.

People should not confuse the “fitness” or “wholesomeness” of certain types of fats with the wholesomeness of fats in general.  So, because palm oil and butter are mono-unsaturated doesnt mean that one should eat much of them..

Lipids are the densest form of food energy we can consume.  It packs a lot of calories into a very small space/mass.  This is why you always hear docs saying that we should cut back on them.  Its mostly because we do not realize how much caloric overload we are incurring from a few tablespoons of lipids.

Mind you, I am not fat free at all!  Its always a struggle.

Picture of melissa melissa said on...
03.28.07 at 07:45 AM |

Butter and palm oil are both high in saturated fats but they also contain quite a bit of monosaturated fats. The saturated fat is not a health problem. This is a myth. Both have been staples in diets world-wide for centuries – long before heart disease, cancer, and diabetes became common – these are modern diseases of bad nutrition.

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