There are an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to oils to use in the kitchen. Most people have heard that hydrogenated oils are bad, and olive oil is good; but there is actually a little more to it than that. Did you know that some oils are unsafe to cook with and that some oils you should always seek to avoid? Stick with me while I break it down quickly and simply……
Just say no to vegetable oils. Oils that come from soybean, sunflower, corn, and canola are unstable, omega-6 rich, polyunsaturated fats that are highly inflammatory. One of the problems here is that our diets tend to be high in omega-6 fats which not only crowd out the omega-3s that we desperately need, but undo the benefits of any omega-3s that we eat. This results in even more inflammation—which is our #1 enemy. I would suggest cutting these oils out of your diet completely.
Olive oil has been praised over the years for its many health benefits, including antioxidants, macronutrients, and anti-inflammatory compounds. It is made up primarily of monounsaturated fatty acids, most notably oleic acid, which gives olive oil its ability to fight free radical damage. Yet, what most people don’t know is that you should not cook with olive oil, as it has what is called a low smoke point (the temperature at which an oil will start to smoke producing fumes and free radicals). Heating olive oil does more harm than good, so it is best used in a non-heated form such as in salad dressings.
So what can you cook with? My two favorite oils to cook with are coconut oil and avocado oil. Avocado oil has a similar makeup to olive oil, mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, but has a much higher smoke point, making it suitable to cook with. Coconut oil is comprised mostly of saturated fat (don’t freak out, saturated fats ARE NOT bad), which makes it stable to cook with. Coconut oil also contains other compounds, such as lauric acid, that are incredibly beneficial to your health.
I hope this breaks down some of the confusion surrounding oils. If you want to continue the conversation or have any questions, reach out to us at: yourdailydoseofhealth@gmail.