Healthful and Harmful Oils and Fats Uncovered
Saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated – which one should I choose! This is a topic often talked about that can leave you feeling even more confused! So here’s a quick overview of why some oils are very unhealthy and should never, never be used in cooking…
Anything that is labelled as ‘vegetable oil’ could include soybean oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil…and the list goes on. In most instances these oils are highly processed and are NOT HEALTHY! These oils are processed under high heat, pressure, and industrial solvents such as hexane. Vegetable oils such as soybean oil, safflower oil and other similar oils are mostly composed of polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are the least stable type of fat when exposed to heat and light therefore you should NEVER COOK with these oils!
Highly processed polyunsaturated oils that are then used in cooking at high temperatures are the most inflammatory type of oils for the body!
While polyunsaturated fats are necessary in the diet because they provide essential fats such as omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, these should come from unprocessed sources. Choose raw nuts and seeds such as walnuts and sunflower seeds. Avoid roasted nuts and always store these items in a cool place away from sunlight to avoid the oils turning rancid.
Saturated fats are actually a healthier option to cook with. These oils include coconut oil and even animal fats such as lard, butter and ghee. They are mostly composed of natural saturated fats which are the least reactive to heat and light and therefore the least inflammatory in the body when used for cooking.
The bottom line…..cook with saturated fats such as or coconut oil or ghee and never over heat your oils. Olive oilis suitable for lower cooking temperatures as it’s mostly monounsaturated and moderately stable. Avocado oil and macadamia nut oil are great for baking as they are mostly monounsaturated plus add great flavour! Avoid processed polyunsaturated oils such as soybean, corn, grapeseed, cottonseed, safflower and include natural sources of polyunsaturated oils from nuts and seeds in their raw form or used the unrefined oils to add to salads.
References for this article:
6 cooking oils never to eat, Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist & Personal Trainer. Author of The Fat Burning Kitchen & Ten Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging