Thursday, 15 April 2021

TASTY HEALTHY COOKING OILS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE(STYLE)

Did you know that the type of oil you use in your cooking could really affect your health and wellness? Did you know that not all oils are created equal? Do you want to know the healthiest oils to cook with?

Oils vary greatly in terms of quality and some are extremely processed which messes with your body, especially your hormones. Also, every oil has different properties; for example, you can only heat some oils to certain temperatures because, otherwise, they release toxins and chemicals.

Sometimes, especially if you want to lose weight or reduce your fat intake, it can be useful to replace oil altogether and use alternatives. I will talk about the ways to cook without oil at the bottom of this post. 

Also, before we start, I wanted to shout out a really great site called 'iHerb' and you can order almost any health product you want! It is so good for expats living around the world because they deliver to most countries!

So what do I think are the 3 best oils to cook with?

#1 AVOCADO OIL (10/10)

In my opinion, this is the one of the healthiest oils to cook with when cooking on a high heat as it has a high smoking point and therefore doesn’t release toxins. It is an excellent choice for frying and the flavour is really nice when cooking things like stir fries. It can be expensive but this Olivado one on Amazon is only £4.50 which is amazing!

We all know the significant benefits avocados have on our health, so avocado oil is no different. I could write a whole post on this but I will try to summarise the benefits here.

 -       Rich in Oleic acid (almost 70%), a very healthy monounsaturated Omega-9 fatty acid

-       It has anti-inflammatory effects by blocking a protein that causes tissue and bone loss

-       Reduces cholesterol and improves heart health

-       High in Lutein which has a benefit to your eyesight

-       Enhances the absorption of important nutrients in the body, therefore reducing deficiencies

-       Multiple studies reported that avocado oil extract may relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis

-       Improves skin and enhances wound healing

-       Neutralizes free radicals

-       High in vitamin E

Make sure you buy it from the correct place because otherwise, it can be quite expensive. I really like this brand and it is currently on offer on Amazon right now (link here). It is three times cheaper than if you were to buy it from the health food store!


PICTURE OF AN AVOCADO

#2 OLIVE OIL (8/10)

Maybe I am bias because I am living in Spain and the quality is amazing, but olive oil has been used in the Mediterranean diet for centuries, where people live significantly longer and healthier lives.

Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which can reduce the risk of heart disease, increase weight loss and decreases inflammation in the body. It also contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improving brain health (see my previous post on this)

The reason I didn’t put Olive oil as the healthiest oil to cook with, is because you should only use Olive oil raw, or when cooking on a low heat. Olive oil has a low smoking point so, if heated too high, will release toxins. Another tip is to choose extra virgin olive oil so that it is not refined and overly processed – you can get these relatively cheap in the supermarket.


#3 RAPESEED OIL (8/10)

Due to its high smoke point, Rapeseed oil does not release toxins. It is low in saturated fat and is full of Vitamin E, which regulates the immune system – something very important, especially right now! Tip: You will get the biggest health benefits if you buy cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil. Again, less refining and processing.

The health benefits of Rapeseed oil:

·         It contains the lowest saturated fat content of any oil.

·         It is a good source of Omega 3,6,9.

·         It contains Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

·         It is high in monounsaturated fats (the good fats!)APESEED 



Ok, so what should we STAY AWAY from?

VEGETABLE OILS (1/10)

Vegetable oils SOUND healthy but they are far from it. They are very commonly used for cooking but they are overly processed and the process of extraction uses toxic chemicals. You need a lot of chemicals to extract them and then they use deodorisers to make them smell good, because they have a really horrible smell naturally.

Anything overly processed is bad for your body, especially your gut. Your body thinks it is a foreign substance, not food, and will react in many ways notwithstanding bloating and inflammation. Inflammation is not good for the body and can lead to a whole host of diseases, so it is important to reduce this in the body, as much as possible.

CANOLA OIL (1/10)

Canola oil was banned in the UK until recently because it was considered toxic. Sometimes it can be known as ‘low Euric acid rapeseed oil’ but please note that this is not Rapeseed oil. Canola oil contains ‘anti nutrients’ preventing iodine absorption in the body. In addition, it goes through a damaging extraction process creating higher levels of oxidation and trans-fat. We want to avoid trans-fat at all costs! Don’t get me wrong, fat is healthy, especially the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated varieties, but trans-fat is a no-go and we should not be putting these substances in to our bodies.

OTHER OILS TO CONSIDER

COCONUT OIL – THE JURY IS OUT (6/10)

Coconut oil is ok to use on a higher heat and has a lot of health benefits such as having antimicrobial effects and raising HDL good cholesterol. It also contains vitamins E and K, and iron that is retained at high temperatures.

I like to use Coconut oil for baking or pancakes and sweet dishes. I like this one by Eat Wholesome as it is raw, cold pressed virgin coconut oil (100% coconut). However, the reason it is not in my top 3 is because it has a high level of Saturated fat. This is not ideal if you are trying to lose weight or trying to reduce this type of fat in your diet.

Some people think that coconut oil is healthy because it is very natural – simply just from a coconut. Others argue that the Saturated fat content is too high and therefore just because its natural, doesn’t mean its healthy. I personally believe that it is fine, but if you’re trying to lose weight or reduce body fat for medical reasons, then I would avoid it.


Also, as a bonus, you can put coconut oil in your hair and on your skin to make it soft!

SESAME OIL (6/10)

Sesame oil has a high smoke point and has monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In addition, sesame oil has a great flavour, especially in Asian dishes. Despite this, it is not very high in other nutrients and vitamins so, for me, I don’t bother buying it. I much prefer to cook with avocado oil as oil can be quite calorific and I like to be obtain a high proportion of nutrition too! Not just empty calories! However I wouldn’t completely avoid it as it tastes good and isn’t necessarily bad for you.


Alternatives to oil?

Ok, so did you know that you can use water or tomatoes in place of oil? The food won’t stick and you probably won’t be able to taste a difference. Especially if you use herbs, spices and seasoning. Sometimes I like to include the healthy fats but sometimes, I like to avoid it altogether. A tip for when using water: keep adding water so the food does not stick.

When using tomato, it’s also worth keeping an eye on it if you’re cooking on a really high heat – in the same way you would do with oil. I like the tomato replacement tip as you’re making food tasty AND adding nutrition as well as flavour. Cooking tomatoes increases the bioavailability of lycopene, a bright red carotenoid, which is a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene is what gives tomatoes their bright colour. Lycopene can help to prevent cancer growth and supports your health, brain and bone health by protecting the cells from damage.


There we have it, the healthiest oils to cook with and the alternatives.


Let me know your thoughts below – which is your favourite oil to cook with? If there is an oil that isn’t on here – message me or insert a comment below and I can discuss it with you.


As always, thanks for reading and I really hope my tips can help you to live a healthier and happier life!! 

Alice


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that any purchase you make from the links - I will get a very small commission. This does NOT result in any additional cost to you, and the affiliate money earnt will go back into creating the best content. Thanks for your support!

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