I cook everything in peanut oil, which does not taste like peanuts and which is also high in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats — and low in saturated fats. And, if you are like me and refuse to give up fats completely with cooking (I live on chicken stir-fry) there is more evidence out from another Harvard study that suggests that it’s not only good for your circulatory system, it’s likely better for your brain:
Scientists studied 6,183 women over age 65, tracking their fat consumption and changes in their mental abilities over four years. The women completed a food questionnaire at the start of the study, then periodically took tests of mental ability.
The researchers assigned a “change score” to each volunteer, summarizing changes in memory and abstract thinking over time — the lower the score, the greater the decline. The study appeared online Thursday in the journal Annals of Neurology.
After controlling for many health and socioeconomic factors, the researchers found that women who consumed the most saturated fat were 60 percent more likely than those consuming the least to have change scores that put them below the 10th percentile. On the other hand, women who reported consuming the most monounsaturated fat were 44 percent less likely to have change scores in lowest one-tenth. Consumption of polyunsaturated fats and trans fats was not associated with any change, nor was total fat.
“People might consider making changes or substitutions in their diet, switching out saturated fats in favor of monounsaturated fats,” said the lead author, Dr. Olivia I. Okereke, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard.
Short blog post above from the New York Times.