It can be overwhelming in our modern world to know what product we should use for vibrant health. Oils for cooking and eating can be especially confusing. Here are some good tips and suggestions:
Make sure you buy cold pressed, organic and non GMO
While this may seem picky, this is a vitally important aspect when choosing oils. Good quality can make the difference between rancid oils or not, heart health and digestibility of the oil. It is the difference between healthful and health damaging when ingested.
Most oils are rendered unhealthy due to the high heat processing and chemical solvent refining. They are refined, bleached, degummed and sometimes deodorized, rendering them unhealthy, often removing the quality nutrients and reducing the healthful fatty acid content in the oil.
Another important aspect is the lipid profile. For instance, a good quality sunflower seed oil is a reasonable choice, but sunflower oil contains a high percentage of mega 6 fatty acids, which is not ideal. Therefore sunflower oil should be used in moderation. Flax and olive oil, for instance contain healthful omega 3 fatty acids.
Do not used oils that are partially hydrogenated
Hydrogenation is a chemical process of adding hydrogen to liquid oils to turn them to a solid form. Partially hydrogenated fats contain trans fats, one of the worst types of fat for the human body.
Oils are a part of your diet where it pays to spend a little more for quality!
Here are some good choices
Olive oil – A premier cardiovascular health oil. Look for organic extra virgin. Olive oil is great for salad dressings, pastas and dips and quick high heat cooking like sautéing. Olive oil should not be used for prolonged high heat cooking as it denatures at higher temperatures.
Coconut oil – Purchase cold processed, extra virgin coconut oil. It has a high heat threshold and can be used for sautéing, frying and high temperature cooking. Very nutritional and good for cardiovascular health.
Avocado oil – A very healthy oil which has a high heat tolerance so can be used in cooking and unheated recipes. Very high in healthful oleic acid. High in lutein, which is beneficial for eye health. Enhances nutrient absorption. Helps to neutralize damaging free radicals. Benefits skin, gums, decreases inflammation and promotes healthy cholesterol levels.
Flaxseed oil – A good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Can help to reduce inflammation. Great for salad dressings and dips but should not be heated.
Sesame oil – Is heart healthy. Has a high heat tolerance so it can be used for frying and dressings.
MCT oil – Is a top source of essential healthy fats. This oil is derived from coconut and has the benefits of coconut oil and more. MCT stands for medium chain triglyceride. It readily converts to energy as it requires fewer steps to break it down. It is flavorless and odorless. Not suitable for cooking as it denatures in heat.
Sesame oil – Has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Helps prevent atherosclerosis. Can be used for stir frying as it has a relatively high smoke point. Not suitable for deep fat frying.
Sunflower oil – Though sunflower oil has many beneficial qualities listed below, it should be used in moderation as it has a high amount of unhealthy omega 6 fatty acids. Too much consumption of sunflower oil can imbalance the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio and create health and cardiovascular problems. Sunflower oil is unstable with heating so it is best used in dressings, sauces or dips and not heated. Benefits of sunflower oil are it improves: heart health; skin health; lowers cholesterol; and reduces inflammation. It has many beneficial fatty acids which improve overall health.
Avoid canola oil, which is found in most processed products – Many people like to use canola oil in baking and cooking because it has a mild flavor, is low in saturated fat and also has a high smoke point so it can safely be used a higher temperatures without denaturing. However canola is the top GMO crop – over 90% is genetically modified. There is so much cross contamination that most health aficionados feel that it should be avoided altogether. Even canola oil labeled as organic and non GMO likely has GMO and glyphosate contamination. Canola oil is also highly refined, which increases its negative effects on your health.
We have a number of wonderful oils to choose from for a variety of uses and it’s good to use a variety of oils. Enjoy your foods and your health!