Ask the doctor: Which are the healthiest fats for baking?

Published: June, 2012

Q. I avoid shortening because of its high trans-fat content; but is it really worse than butter or lard for baking?

A. All three of these fats are unhealthy. Each contains high amounts of saturated fat or trans fatty acids (trans fat), which have adverse effects on blood cholesterol. Both saturated fat and trans fat raise LDL or "bad" cholesterol, but trans fat also lowers HDL or "good cholesterol." Because of this, the unhealthiest fat is trans fat.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »