You have many options when it comes to selecting fats and oils for cooking.
But it’s not just a matter of choosing oils that are healthy, it’s whether they stay healthy after having been cooked with.
The Stability of Cooking Oils
When you’re cooking at a high heat, you want to use oils that are stable and don’t oxidise or go rancid easily. When oils undergo oxidation, they react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that you definitely don’t want to be consuming. The most important factor in determining an oil’s resistance to oxidation and rancidification, both at high and low heat, is the relative degree of saturation of the fatty acids in it. Saturated fats have only single bonds in the fatty acid molecules, monounsaturated fats have one double bond and polyunsaturated fats have two or more. It is these double bonds that are chemically reactive and sensitive to heat. Saturated fats and monounsaturated fats are pretty resistant to heating, but oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats should be avoided for cooking.
The Winner: Coconut Oil
When it comes to high heat cooking, coconut oil is your best choice.
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 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.
Saturated fats used to be considered unhealthy, but new studies prove that they are not when used in moderation. Saturated fats are a safe source of energy for humans. Butter was demonised in the past due to its saturated fat content but there really is no reason to fear real butter. It’s the processed margarine that is the truly awful stuff, they are one molecule away from plastic. Real butter is good for you and actually fairly nutritious. It contains Vitamins A, E and K2. It is also rich in the fatty acids Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Butyrate, both of which have powerful health benefits. CLA may lower body fat percentage in humans and butyrate can fight inflammation, improve gut health and has been shown to make rats completely resistant to becoming obese. There is one rule for cooking with butter. Regular butter does contain tiny amounts of sugars and proteins and for this reason it tends to get burned during high heat cooking like frying. If you want to avoid that, you can make clarified butter or ghee. That way, you remove the lactose and proteins leaving you with pure butterfat. Make sure to choose butter from grass-fed cows. This butter contains more Vitamin K2, CLA and other nutrients compared to butter from grain-fed cows. (Kerrygold grass fed cows unsalted butter is in most supermarkets)
Olive oil is well known for its heart healthy effects and is believed to be one of the reasons for the health benefits of the mediterranean diet. Some studies show that olive oil can improve biomarkers of health. It can lower the amount of oxidised LDL cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream.
Animal Fats – Lard, Tallow, Bacon Drippings
The fatty acid content of animals tends to vary depending on what the animals eat. If they eat a lot of grains, the fats will contain quite a bit of polyunsaturated fats.
If the animals are pasture raised or grass-fed, there will be more saturated and monounsaturated fats in them. Therefore, animal fats from animals that are naturally raised are excellent options for cooking.
You can buy ready-made lard or tallow from the store, or you can save the drippings from meat to use at a later time. Bacon drippings are especially tasty.
Palm oil is derived from the fruit of oil palms. It consists mostly of saturated and monounsaturated fats, with small amounts of polyunsaturates. However, some concerns have been raised about the sustainability of harvesting palm oil, harvesting these trees means less environment available for Orangutans, which are an endangered species. so when you buy anything with palm oil it should be Red palm oil and from a sustainable source. Palm oil is a good choice for cooking but only when it is Red Palm Oil (the unrefined variety). It is also rich in Vitamins E, Coenzyme Q10 and other nutrients.
The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil. It is primarily monounsaturated with some saturated and polyunsaturated mixed in.
I suppose it can be used for the same purposes as olive oil. You can cook with it, but only at low temperatures. Just like olive oil it should be used cold. It may be best as an addition to salads or foods after they have been cooked.
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. The best fish oil used to be cod fish liver oil, because it is also rich in Vitamin D3, which a large part of the World is deficient in. However with the heavy metals now found in our oceans it is not a good choice anymore. The liver is a big detoxing organ which filters our toxins like heavy metals that can harm us and stores it until it’s safe to pass through our water system. Therefore we would not want to eat the fish’s liver. Fish oil should never be used for cooking due to its high concentration of polyunsaturated fats. It can however be used as a supplement – the best one being krill oil. However there is now a great way to get the Omega 3 that we look for in fish from the Algae the fish eat to get their Omega 3. Go to our Super Supplement section and read about Juice Plus Omega Blend.
Nut Oils and Peanut Oil
There are many nut oils available and some of them taste awesome. However, they 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 use in high heat cooking. The same applies to peanut oil. Peanuts technically aren’t nuts (they’re legumes) but the composition of the oil is similar. There is one exception, however, and that is macadamia nut oil which is mostly monounsaturated (like olive oil). It is pricey, but it tastes awesome. If you want, you can use macadamia oil for low or medium-heat cooking.
Canola oil is derived from rapeseeds but the uric 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, and contains 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. I personally don’t think these oils are suitable for human consumption.
Seed and Vegetable Oils
Industrial 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 probably avoid them altogether. These oils have been wrongly considered “heart-healthy” by the media and many nutrition professionals in the past few decades. However, new data links these oils with many serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
Avoid all of them:
• Soybean Oil
• Corn Oil
• Cottonseed Oil
• Canola Oil
• Rapeseed Oil
• Sunflower Oil
• Sesame Oil
• Grapeseed Oil
• Safflower Oil
• Rice Bran Oil
One study also looked at common vegetable oils on food shelves in the U.S. market and discovered that they contain between 0.56 to 4.2% trans fats, which are highly toxic. It’s important to read labels. If you find any of these oils on packaged food that you are about to eat, then it’s best to purchase something else.
How to Take Care of Your Cooking Oils
To make sure that your fats and oils don’t go rancid, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Don’t buy large batches at a time. Buy smaller ones, that way you will most likely use them before they get the chance to damage. When it comes to unsaturated fats like olive, palm, avocado oil and some others, it is important to keep them in an environment where they are less likely to oxidise and go rancid. The main drivers behind oxidative damage of cooking oils are heat, oxygen and light. Therefore, keep them in a cool, dry, dark place and make sure to screw the lid on as soon as you’re done using them. Temperature gauge for cooking oils!
Should not be used at all for cooking for more information on these essential oils go to :- www.thehealhthubclub.org Super supplements