A Fat Full Fall: Baseline Fats Chart

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Fat Full FallWant to know what to do with coconut oil? How to substitute one kind of fat for another? Wish you always knew what to do with your fats and how to adapt recipes to avoid the industrial fats that you’re just not into anymore?

For more on how to cook traditional foods and use traditional fats, see GNOWFGLINS Fundamentals.

Use the Fat:  What Fat for What Common Uses?

Solid fats

Use for pastries, biscuits, tortillas, crackers, and recipes that call for butter or shortening. You should be able to substitute anything on this list at a ratio of 1:1.

  • Butter
  • Coconut oil (solid below 76 degrees)
  • Lard
  • Tallow
  • Palm shortening – non-hydrogenated (although I haven’t used this myself)
  • Substitute 3x as much ground flax meal for about 1/3 of the fat in a quick bread recipe.
  • Do NOT use:  Crisco or shortening, margarine (Why?)

Liquid Oils for Baking

Use in any recipe that says “oil” or “vegetable oil”. Most baking recipes can handle any of these choices.


  • Melted coconut oil (not sure how to melt it easily? See here.)
  • Melted butter
  • Refined sesame oil
  • Substitute 3x as much ground flax meal for about 1/3 of the fat in a quick bread recipe.
  • Grapeseed? More research needed. Some say to use it seldomly because of health concerns.
  • Do NOT use:  corn, soybean, “vegetable” oils (Why?)
  • Use SELDOMLY: canola, sunflower or safflower oils (Why?)

Liquid Oils for Sautéing and Cold Uses

  • Use in low-heat sautéing and cold applications like salad dressing, on veggies (not for baking): Extra Virgin Olive Oil, unrefined sesame oil  (Can you Saute in EVOO?)
  • Use in higher heat sautéing and when you don’t want the flavor of EVOO (eggs?): Virgin Olive Oil, Lard

High Heat Cooking/Frying

When the smoke point might be too high for EVOO or even butter, try:

making ghee12

  • Ghee
  • Tallow
  • Refined coconut oil
  • Peanut oil (although I haven’t actually done this)

Wiki actually has a nice breakdown (based on the medical community’s current recommendations and long-entrenched ideas). It includes the smoke points of all the fats, if you’re interested in that.

Simply eat more salmon, walnuts, whole eggs, real butter and full-fat dairy to get those healthy fats into your system.

Printable Chart

If you can’t see the image above, click HERE for the printable chart.

And if you’re wondering how to get MORE fat into your diet, read Cheeseslave’s 100 Ways to Eat More Fat.

I’ve learned so much studying a Fat Full Fall with you all this season. This is the last post in the series! If you missed any, do go back to the beginning.

This post is part of Kitchen Tip Tuesday at Tammy’s Recipes and 5 Minutes for Mom’s Tackle It Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday at Beauty and Bedlam and Real Food Wednesday at Cheeseslave.

I am a guest lecturer and partner with GNOWFGLINS eCourses, so I will earn commission from any sales made starting here. Of course, the courses are also an awesome way to learn to cook real food, so I’d gab about them anyway.

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21 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    Don’t forget lard for high smoke point. It takes a lot to burn this, ask me how I know LOL.

    What do you think about safflower oil that says “expeller pressed”? I’ve been using that in place of vegetable oil when baking. I don’t use it often, but I have been using it.
    .-= Paula´s last blog ..Old Glory =-.

  2. karen says

    I used non-hydro shortening for biscuits this weekend—-we could not tell the difference. (there wasn’t a side by side comparison ’cause I’m not making two versions of breakfast) I’ll let you know how my Christmas cut-out cookies turn out.

  3. Joan says

    Actually lard is SOOO bad for you! Anything that stays solid at room temperature–try to avoid! Extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil is liquid at room temperature and has an extremely high smoke point. Use it if you have to sautee anything. The best way I have found to increase heathly Omega-3 oils is to blend cold-pressed FLAX SEED oil into low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt (Quark also is good for this). I use a hand-held blender stick and blend it into the most AMAZING creamy custard. About 45 seconds. The oil mixes with the sulphur and protein in the milk product and is more effectively absorbed by your body. Blend it until there is no oily residue in the bowl. Add some honey, fruit and a little cereal grain and you have a delicious high protein, healthy oil breakfast that will definitely keep you going till lunch time. And kids LOVE it! Do 1 tablespoon FLAX SEED oil to 2 tablespoons of yogurt/cottage cheese. Just be sure to use cold pressed FLAX SEED oil that is keep refridgerated. Thank G-D for the hardworking farmers!

    • Katie says

      Ah, we eat so much butter, coconut oil, and palm shortening around here, you’d be shocked. No one has gained any weight, and in fact I’ve lost cellulite. It’s all in WHICH research you choose to put your faith in. I’m going with the age old traditional fats. Flax is good, too, but it has its limitations, many of them.

      Did you know lard is over 50% monounsaturated fat, the same fat in avocados?
      Click on the links in the post to read more…you might have a paradigm shift!
      :) Katie

  4. Mairzie says

    What are the health concerns regarding grapeseed oil? I’ve heard only good things about until very, very recently. I’m open to new information! Thanks for this post.

  5. says

    We live in China and use peanut oil for almost everything — as liquid oil in baking (oatmeal bars, granola, banana bread, apple muffins) plus all our sautéing and frying. I’m not sure whether it’s healthy, but it’s just about the only thing available besides soybean oil.

  6. sandra says

    Hi :) I had been wondering what I should use for deep frying – I will be trying to change to peanut oil. Of course, in the supermarket all oils (except olive of course) are refined oils… The organic grocery shop that I sometimes go to has a wide range of virgin and extravirgin oils such as peanut, canola, sunflower, sesame, almond, grapeseed, flax, soy…. There must be some health advantage to consuming these virgin oils instead of the refined versions in the supermarket.

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