Seems like a fairly straightforward question, yes? Pick up your vegetable oil at the grocery store, and you’re done! Alas, while that may be the easiest way to go, using the wrong oil could be hazardous to your health.
While most oils are safe when used correctly, there are a few that you should try and limit in your life. Hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils, most commonly found in margarine, are not so good for you. They, along with trans fats, are the culprits behind many health issues, including heart disease. Your body can’t break these fats down properly, so they hang around your body, adding excess weight, messing up your heart, and even your poor little cells. If the choice is butter or margarine, the right answer for your health is BUTTER!
If, like many humans, you can’t digest dairy well, and butter isn’t an option, Coconut Oil may just be your best friend. It spreads like butter, melts like butter, and is full of medium-chain triglycerides that can help improve your brain function, increase your metabolism, and reduce belly fat. It also makes a great moisturizer!
In the past, coconut has gotten a bad rap due to its high saturated fat content. Recent studies have shown, however, that coconut oil can raise your GOOD cholesterol levels, while lowering your bad cholesterol levels. Because of its saturated fat content, coconut oil is the safest oil to use at high temperatures.
For lightly sautéing, or drizzling over a warm dish, Olive Oil is your friend. It isn’t as heat-stable as coconut oil, but can be used at lower temperatures. Choose an olive oil in dark glass, and one that is extra-virgin. Many commercial oils go through deodorizing, chemical treating, and other refining processes that lower the quality, and can actually damage the oil.
Two of the best oils you can choose, in terms of your health, are Flax Oil (or Flaxseed Oil) and Hemp Oil (or Hemp Seed Oil). They are both high in essential fatty acids, with flax slightly higher in Omega 3, and hemp slightly higher in Omega 6. These oils are EXTREMELY sensitive to light and heat, so always look for them in opaque containers in a refrigerator. They should only be used for unheated things, but make a great addition to smoothies and salad dressings. If these oils are exposed to heat or light for too long, they can not only turn rancid, but become oxidized free radicals that cause all kinds of damage.
Oils are a wonderful way to add flavor and increase your healthy fat intake. If you use the right oil in the right dish, you’re all set! Come by and check out our selection. We’ve got you covered!