8 Healthy Cooking Oils for a Healthier Cooking Experience

By Amy Taylor on August 20, 2012

Cooking oils come in different types. Before you go out to the grocery shop today, take some time to read this article and become familiar with the best, healthiest cooking oil choices.  

Are you tired of steaming, baking and grilling foods? Why not stir-fry them? They say too much oil is bad for our health and that it can wipe out all out weight loss efforts. Well, this isn’t a hundred percent true. In fact, fats and oils can be a great source of nutrients, as long as you know which one is worth keeping.

Coconut Oil – this oil is not so expensive and not so rare, yet it’s one of the healthiest cooking oils available today. This versatile oil can be used for many dishes and cooking styles. So what makes it healthy? Coconut oil contains lots of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which help in improving digestive function, raising energy levels, and in the absorption of fats. Coconut oil is even linked to a reduced risk of heart attack. In a 1930 study, it was found that South Pacific Islanders, who consumed coconut oil as part of their regular diet, had lower risk of developing heart disease. In 1981, a study which involved two Polynesian communities revealed that people who consume coconut have excellent cardiovascular health.

Avocado Oil – there’s no question that avocado is among the healthiest fruits there are in the world. But other than the avocado meat, its oil is also rich in antioxidants that have the ability to protect the mitochondria (the cellular powerhouse) from destruction. It doesn’t easily get oxidized, which makes it more preferable than canola, soybean, safflower, peanut and corn oil. Avocado oil also helps reduce the risk of heart disease and suppress aging.

Olive Oil – there are many reasons why you may want to add a little more of olive oil in your vegetable salad. This oil is very popular for its health benefits. In fact, others claim that olive oil, particularly the extra virgin one, is the healthiest of all cooking oils. It is filled with monounsaturated fats and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or the good cholesterol. Olive oil also reduces the risk of heart problems, gallstone formation; alleviate the symptoms of ulcer and other digestive disorders, and so on. It becomes even more powerful when combined with coconut and avocado oil.

Sesame Oil – most Asian-inspired cuisines make use of sesame oil. This pungent oil leaves some nutty flavour in your tongue, turning a simple dish to something unique and delicious. Sesame oil is loaded with high amounts of calcium, magnesium and iron. It also helps lower down blood pressure.

Red Palm Oil – are you deficient in vitamin E? Then you may want to use red palm oil when cooking or baking. This oil is super rich in vitamin E and vitamin A (in fact, it has 13 times more carotene than carrots!), and doesn’t need hydrogenation to maintain its stability. Furthermore, red palm oil doesn’t contain trans fatty acids.

Grape Seed Oil – a growing body of research claims that grape seed oil may trigger apoptosis, a process that prevents the cells from getting damaged. Because of this, it is believed that such oil may help lower the risk of liver disease and cancer.

Macadamia Nut Oil – this oil has a delicious nutty and buttery flavour which makes it a perfect choice for meat, stir-fried and sautéed dishes, baked goods and salads. It is also high in monounsaturated fats like the olive oil, but is low in omega-6 fatty acids (which is known to cause inflammatory diseases).

Flax Seed Oil – this oil is highly loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids which keep the heart hale and healthy, and guard the body from cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases (including mental disorders like depression). It’s also a good salad dressing.

So who says cooking oils are bad for you? With these 8 cooking oil choices, you can enjoy your meal more, and at the same time, improve your health.

 

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