Makeover Monday Cooking with Grease

Your cooking oils      oils

Vegetable oils are oils that have been extracted from various seeds. The most common include rapeseed (canola oil), soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, peanut, etc. Unlike coconut oil or olive oil that can be extracted by pressing, these new-fangled oils have to be extracted in very unnatural ways.

And did you know that vegetable oils are very high in Omega 6 fatty acids? Too much omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation, clogged arteries, heart disease and an increased risk of cancer. 

Did you know that vegetable oils are very high in Omega 6 fatty acids? Too much omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation, clogged arteries, heart disease and an increased risk of cancer. There’s a lot of hype about Omega-3’s and how healthy they are. But what often gets neglected is the fact that it’s more about the ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats that are critical to good health. The world health organization’s (WHO) recommended ratio for omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is about 4:1, meaning that for every food you eat containing omega-3 fatty acids, you should eat no more than 4 times the amount of omega-6 fatty acids.

The culprits:

  • Vegetable Oil (Soybean oil) 99% of the time a bottle of vegetable oil is actually just soybean oil. You can even look at the ingredients in a bottle of vegetable oil next time you go to the grocery store… you’ll see just one ingredient “soybean oil.”
  • Grapeseed oilis about 70% omega-6 fatty acid
  • Canola oil. About 87% of canola oil is genetically modified. To create canola oil, one must take the crude oil that has been heat extracted from rape seeds (what canola oil is made from) and refine, bleach and deodorize it
  • Corn oil.  58% omega-6 fatty acids-There is a popular misconception that corn is a vegetable. It is actually a grain. Corn originated and was bred from a tall grass-like plant that somewhat resembled wheat.
  • Cottonseed oil.
  • Sunflower oil.
  • Peanut oil.
  • Sesame oil.
  • Rice bran oil.

Keep in mind that most processed foods contain these oils, too. Salad dressing, condiments, crackers, chips… check your ingredients.

So then what do we do? Many of us cook with these oils because they are readily available and perhaps we use what our parents used. But as it goes with any food, keep in mind that where it comes from and how you store it as that can matter greatly. Traditional oils should be cold-pressed.

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (Great for non-heat dishes like salad dressings, humus, mayo, etc. Can be used in cooking at lower temperatures or when combined with another saturated fat like butter or coconut oil.)  EVOO is a heart healthy fat that that contains beneficial antioxidants and has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Avocado Oil (Best for non heat dishes)  but its still my favorite frying oil because it has such a high smoke point (475°-520°). However, it does contains a fair amount of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats which, in excess, can cause inflammation so be careful.
  • Coconut Oil (use refined coconut oil if you don’t want any coconut flavor) Raw virgin coconut oil is best used in low temperature cooking or baking. Refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point and less of a coconut flavor. Refined coconut oil may have a bit fewer health benefits than virgin coconut oil, but it is still a healthy option for high heat cooking. When looking for coconut oil make sure that it is not hydrogenated or treated with hexane.

Oils to be used sparingly

The following oils are okay in moderations. Most contain high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids, so they shouldn’t be consumed freely. But they are considered natural fats, and they do have health benefits. They are not great for high heat cooking, but acceptable in dressings, mayos, and other non-heat foods.

 

Walnut Oil

Flaxseed Oil

Macadamia Nut Oil

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