Get These Common Cooking Oils Out of Your Kitchen and Use These Instead
Written by: Nancy Boudreau
Fats are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide and store energy, move fat soluble vitamins around the body to where they are needed and provide essential fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body but are required for growth, cell function and hormone production.
We’re told to consume healthy fats, but with so many choices on the market and conflicting health claims in the media, it can be difficult to figure out which oils are the healthiest to cook with.
While some oils provide a myriad of health benefits when consumed in their raw form, if heated to higher temperatures, these same oils lose their nutritional value and become TOXIC. Industrially made supermarket oils – such as canola and safflower – have been so heavily processed that any nutritional value has been stripped out before you even start cooking with them.
So what oils SHOULD you be using and which ones should you ditch?
Any refined, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and oils containing trans fats.
This includes most industrially produced oils such as canola (also known as rapeseed), grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, soybean, corn and vegetable blend oils. The refining process used to turn these seeds, nuts and grains into a clear liquid oil involves chemicals and extreme heat to degum, bleach and deodorize. This process oxidizes, or turns the oil rancid, basically canceling out any positive health benefits the oil had to begin with.
Lastly, most of these oils are made with GMO crops.
USE these instead:
1. Coconut Oil is one of the healthiest fats you can use. In addition to helping protect you against heart disease, cancer and diabetes, it is also an immune system booster and can help you lose weight since it’s not easily stored in the body. Not only can you use it for cooking, it’s also a fantastic skin moisturizer and hair conditioner. Coconut oil is a saturated fat which, in general, are the most stable fats for high heat cooking, such as stir frying, sautéing and baking.
Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has a more distinct coconut taste and is better suited for medium heat cooking. If you prefer a more neutral flavor, go with Refined Coconut Oil, but be sure to select one that has been steam refined and had no chemicals used to process it.
2. Red Palm Oil is a saturated fat which contains beta-carotene and lycopene, the antioxidants found in tomatoes and carrots and other red and orange fruits and vegetables. It has a buttery texture and is great for soups, sauces, sautéing and for drizzling on top of popcorn. Look for organic, sustainably sourced red palm fruit oil, as opposed to red palm kernel oil.
3. Ghee or Clarified Butter is butter with the milk solids removed and is also a saturated fat. You can purchase this at most health food stores or make your own using organic butter from grass fed cows. Because the milk solids have been removed, ghee has a high smoke point so it can be used for medium to high heat stir frying and sautéing and tastes great on everything – veggies, meat, poultry, fish and eggs. It’s also typically well tolerated by those with lactose intolerance.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a monounsaturated fat and is best for low to medium heat cooking, such as low heat sautés, drizzled over steamed vegetables and making salad dressings and dips. Look for “first cold press” (meaning, no heat was used in the extraction process).
5. Flax Seed and Hemp oil are polyunsaturated fat (PUFA). PUFA’s are an essential fat, meaning the body can’t produce it so it must be consumed in food. While they are great sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, because of their molecular structure, these oils are the least stable when exposed to heat and should NOT be used for cooking. Instead, use them cold in salad dressings and dips.
Some general guidelines for choosing oils to cook with:
- There are 3 types of fats: Saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Saturated fats – found in tropical oils and animal products – are the most heat stable, followed by monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil). Polyunsaturated fats (such as flaxseed oil) should not be heated and are best used in raw preparations, such as salad dressings and dips.
- If you’re not sure what type of oil you have, read the label. Oils are a combination of all 3 types of fats. Whichever is the most predominate fat determines its type.
- Whatever oil you do decide to purchase, make sure it’s organic, unrefined, expeller or cold- pressed. These oils are easily found at health food stores, but are becoming more mainstream and are available in some regular grocery stores.
- Finally, never cook any oil to its smoke point. The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts producing a bluish smoke and toxic fumes. This signals that the oil has started breaking down and has lost its nutritional value and flavor.
About the Author
Nancy Boudreau is a Certified Health Coach and yoga enthusiast, who believes in progress, not perfection. She works with women who want to lose weight, manage stress and reclaim their vitality by making small, incremental changes to their diet and lifestyle that add up to big changes in weight, energy and overall health. Connect with Nancy on her website.
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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician. Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
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