10 Jan
Posted in: Food, Health
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Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Peanut Oil… What to use when???

Have you often wondered what all the hype is lately with Coconut oil and how to implement it into your cooking?

Below I will try to break down the benefits of cooking with coconut oil in a nutshell… and hope you gain some healthy insight.

When cooking food to high temperatures, more often than not, you run the risk of creating heat-induced damage to your food. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your food and hence your health.

The best oil to use when cooking at high temperatures is definitely Coconut Oil. Over 90% of the fatty acids in it are saturated, which makes it very resistant to heat. This oil is semi-solid at room temperature and it can last for months and even years without going rancid.
Coconut oil also has powerful health benefits. It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens.
The fats in coconut oil can also boost metabolism slightly and increase feelings of fullness compared to other fats.
Make sure to choose virgin coconut oil. It’s organic, it tastes good and it has powerful health benefits.

When you cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as canola, corn, and soy oils), oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system; as the oil is heated and mixed with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil and should NOT be consumed—it leads directly to vascular disease. Trans-fats are introduced when these oils are hydrogenated, which increases your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and various cancers.

Olive oil is a great alternative when you are cooking on moderate to low heat and is well known for its heart healthy effects that can raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and lower the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream.

The fatty acids in olive oil are mostly monounsaturated, therefore this makes them an inferior choice for cooking compared to highly saturated fats like coconut oil. However, studies on olive oil show that despite the double bonds, you can still use it for cooking as long as you don’t use very high heat.
For example, Olive oil is perfect for use on salads or drizzled over other dishes after they have been cooked.

In addition, Avocado oil has a similar composition to olive oil. It is primarily monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated mixed in.
Therefore it is also great to use for low-medium heat dishes and may be used best as an addition to salads or foods after they have been cooked.

Various Nut oils and Peanut Oil
should be avoided altogether wherever possible… with the exception of Macadamia Nut Oil; which is mostly monounsaturated and can be used for low-medium heat cooking.

Nut oils are very rich in polyunsaturated fats, which make them a poor choice for cooking.
They can be used as parts of recipes, but do not fry or do any high heat cooking with them.
The same applies to peanut oil which personally I would try to avoid altogether.

Canola oil is derived from rapeseeds, but the euric acid (a toxic, bitter substance) has been removed from it.
The fatty acid breakdown of canola oil is actually fairly good, with most of the fatty acids monounsaturated, then containing Omega-6 and Omega-3 in a 2:1 ratio, which is perfect.
However, canola oil needs to go through very harsh processing methods before it is turned into the final product thus making them a health risk.

Seed and Vegetable Oils are highly processed, refined products that are way too rich in Omega-6 fatty acids.
Not only should you not cook with them, you should steer clear of them as much as possible.
New data links these oils with many serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
Some to avoid include: Soybean Oil, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Sesame Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Safflower Oil, Rice Bran Oil.

One seed oil that is of great health benefit is Flax seed oil. It contains huge amounts of the plant form of Omega-3, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). However due to the large amount of polyunsaturated fats, flax seed oil should NOT be used for cooking.

And last but not least, Fish oil is very rich in the animal form of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are DHA and EPA. A tablespoon of fish oil can satisfy your daily need for these very important fatty acids.
However, due to its high concentration of polyunsaturated fats, fish oil should never be used for cooking. It’s best used as a supplement, one tablespoon per day.

So, what do you think?