Are you cooking with the right oil?
Our body needs fat for functioning. Fats are essential to provide energy, support cell growth and protect our organs. Fat helps absorption of important vitamins and nutrients and regulating the hormones. So a healthy body needs fat – Please don’t try to go on fat-free diets!!
Good news is that oil is used in almost every recipe and is an integral part of the everyday diet but the sad part is a lot of unhealthy oils are marketed as healthy so people are confused and misinformed.
Let me get this straight – Vegetable oils are bad for you. Yes – Canola, Corn and all vegetable oils should be avoided at any cost.
Vegetable oils are usually made from genetically modified plants (Rapeseed, Corn, Soybean), are heavily processed by adding harmful chemicals (like petroleum, BHA, and BHT), and stripped of all nutrients. These chemicals have been linked to decrease in testosterone, impact the functioning thyroid hormone and disrupt the endocrine system.
Vegetable oils contain very large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6. Our bodies need the right balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in order to function properly. A diet that is high in Omega-6 leads to an imbalance of fatty acids, which is one of the leading causes of inflammation and heart diseases.
Vegetable oils also contain a large amount of Trans fats, which have been linked to all kinds of serious health conditions from diabetes, obesity to heart disease and even cancer.
Now that I have convinced you to avoid vegetable oils, let’s talk about some good alternatives:
- Coconut Oil: One of my favorite oils, perfect for high heat cooking like frying, sautéing, baking and stir-frying. There are many benefits of coconut oil – helps improve the good cholesterol, keep our internal organs free from microbes and help reduce Candida and other bacterial/yeast infections.
- Ghee: Ghee has a very high smoke point which means that you can easily use ghee for baking, sautéing, frying and roasting without the risk of destroying the important nutrients that provide all these wonderful ghee benefits. Ghee has conjugated linoleic acid(CLA), which have been found to reduce body fat, prevent cancer and lower blood pressure. It helps strengthen our bones and promotes healthy weight. Added benefit, it enhances the flavor of the food it is added to.
- Avocado oil: Avocado oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils available. It helps lower LDL cholesterol levels, reduces blood pressure and improves pain due to inflammation. Avocado oil can also be used for baking, sautéing and stir frying. You can now find Avocado oil at some Costco stores.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil has a lot of wonderful health benefits like improved insulin resistance, cancer-fighting properties, and improved heart health but it has a low smoking point, making it unsuitable for temperatures above 250’F (121’C). Olive oil is good for sprinkling on salad, dips and light sautéing but do not use it for high heat cooking, specially the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The oils listed above are not an exhaustive list of all the oils available in the market today. Let me know which one is your favorite oil. Finding the right oil for your type of cooking can be challenging but I highly recommend switching oils and using a combination of the above-mentioned oils to achieve different benefits. All it takes is a little bit of experimentation.