Which Oils Should You Use? Which Shouldn’t You?
There are plenty of diet myths that arise around consumable oils. We constantly hear that one oil is a superfood, only to later learn that it is not as impressively beneficial as it seemed. Some of us avoid animal oils due to their ‘fatty’ properties, while in fact, these are more beneficial than we think. Here is a simple breakdown to show you which oils you should be consuming and which are dangerous for your health.
To Eat or Not to Eat?
Here are the oils you can use freely:
• Coconut oil — this one is a real star among fats. Full of lauric acid and medium-chain fatty acids, coconut oil is a healthy source of saturated fat. It doesn’t go rancid easily or oxidize at high temperatures, either. This makes it a good choice for cooking and baking. Combine it with healthy foods for an ultimate diet fix.
• Butter — coming from grass-fed animals, butter is a great source of healthy saturated fats, fat-soluble vitamins, and many other nutrients. Speaking about butter, don’t forget that organic cream is also full of healthy saturated fat.
• Olive oil — olive oil is a great pick for homemade mayonnaise or salad dressings and other cold recipes. Since it’s high in monounsaturated fats, olive oil shouldn’t be used for cooking. Olive oil is susceptible to oxidation at high temperatures (hence the need for antioxidants).
• Avocado oil and fruit oil —these are both excellent sources of monounsaturated fats and taste great in salad dressings.
• Sesame oil — this type of oil is said to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. But that’s not all. Recent research revealed that sesame oil can remove dental plaque and improve oral health. Another study found out that oil helps to manage blood glucose levels. On top of that, it’s simply delicious.
• Algae oil — that’s right: the brand-new culinary treat comes from a widely-appreciated source, algae. Algae oil comes from algae grown in fermenters where it consumes plant sugars. That promotes the production of oil, expelled from the algae in a similar way to how oil is pressed from seeds or coconuts. Algae is considered one of the most sustainable made-food sources, and its oil helps to boost heart health and lower body inflammation. It’s also rich in Omega-3 three fatty acids.
Here is a selection of oils you should be consuming in moderation:
While these fats are beneficial and nutritious, they should be consumed only from time to time. Many of them contain high levels of Omega-6 and can affect the balance of these fats in the body.
• Flaxseed oil — this oil contains a large amount of Omega-3, but it also includes Omega-6. It is high in polyunsaturated fats making it prone to oxidation under hot temperatures.
• Walnut oil — this oil has an amazing taste and you can use it occasionally in dressings or desserts. It contains Omega-6 fatty acids and has better resistance to oxidation at high temperatures compared to other nut oils.
• Grapeseed oil — that type of oil is not as beneficial as other plant-based oils, but it has high linoleic acid levels that, according to recent research, lower heart disease and diabetes risk. As little as a teaspoon and a half of grapeseed oil helps to reduce fat in the midsection and increase lean body mass.
Here are the oils you should definitely avoid:
There is no reason why you should stick to vegetable oils when there are so many healthier alternatives on the market.
Here is a shortlist of all oils you should avoid due to their lack of nutritional value, as well as the conditions in which they are produced:
• Canola oil
• Corn oil
• Peanut oil
• Soybean oil
• Sunflower oil
• Cottonseed oil
• Fake butter
• Vegetable oil products
Some of these oils contain healthy fats, but these can be found in much higher amounts and better ratios in other types of fats. It’s simple to avoid these oils by themselves; however, many foods contain them.
Practically any processed food will include canola or soybean oil.
Pay particular attention when buying ready-made salad dressings, chips, nuts, cookies, crackers, or store-bought condiments. Your body and health will thank you!
Are you having any doubts about the oil you’d like to use? Consult the USDA’s database on food nutrition to learn more about the benefits and dangers of different types of consumable oils, and their use (like deep-frying). Just like with everything else in our diet, oil consumption should be balanced and moderate.
An oil might contain a lot of nutritional value, but that doesn’t mean you should use a ton every single time your cook.
It’s good to use different oils for cooking, baking, or cold dishes. With such a variety available, it would be a shame not to make the most of the different benefits these oils present to us. Keep yourself informed and include various consumable oils in your diet to lead a healthy and energetic life.