Fat was once maligned as a healthy diet’s greatest foe, but more and more nutritionists, trainers, and even psychiatrists are increasingly acknowledging the role of healthy fats in a balanced diet—oil and fat are critical for effective brain function, and, counterintuitively, actually help the body burn the types of unhealthy fat that lead to weight gain. But not all fats are created equal: Even the cleanest oils (like our standby EVOO) can counteract their own healthful effects if cooked past their smoke point; what’s more, over-processed oils like canola, which has to be bleached and deodorized (pretty gross), can actually rob the body of vital antioxidants.
It’s healthier and more sustainable than the kind of oils used everywhere today.
Scientists analyzed 22 samples of commercially available avocado oil: 15 had gone rancid before their best-by date, while six were likely cut with large quantities of other, cheaper oils.
Cultured Oil, made by Zero Acre Farms, is a fermented cooking oil that encourages us to reconsider the impact of vegetable oils on human health, and the detrimental rate of deforestation for the crops.
Oils are a staple in the pantry, but their high fat content often earns them a bad rap as an unhealthy food ingredient. Whether made from corn, soybeans or peanuts, not all oils are created equal. Some can lower our blood levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol and raise our HDL, or “good,” cholesterol — others may do the exact opposite. And while research shows that some oils are associated with lower risks of cancer, others are not the health boon that some trends might have you believe.
Though nonexistent for the vast majority of human dietary evolution, vegetable oils are in nearly all processed foods, used as a cooking oil at most restaurants, and hidden within processed foods billed as “healthy” including popular alternative oat, almond, and soy “milks”.
Contrary to popular belief, not all cooking oils are “healthy” as many claim to be.
Let’s look at vegetable oils, the most common of cooking oils. Many of these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Oils, high in omega-6, that fall into this category are soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut, sesame, palm and rice bran. Not only do they contain fatty acids, they are also high in saturated fats which can spike cholesterol levels. “These omega-6 fatty acids are pushing out the important omega-3 fatty acids that keep the brain healthy”, according to Professor John Stein, emeritus professor of neuroscience at Oxford University. Omega-3 is known to help lower blood pressure, while ingesting too much omega-6 can cause inflammation in the body which could lead to disease. Professor Stein only keeps olive oil and butter in his kitchen.
The war’s impact on another set of crucial oils—the edible vegetable fats such as sunflower oil, of which Ukraine and Russia are the world’s two biggest exporters—has taken longer to digest. It is now causing heartburn for the consumer-goods giants that use them by the tonne to make everything from snacks to lipstick.
Next time you cook up a storm or scan an ingredient list, steer clear of these bad-for-you oils...
Olive oil, we still love you. But with so many other options out there for frying and drizzling—from avocado to pistachio—it’s worth playing the field a little. Here are five delicious and versatile cooking oils to try
Despite the long history of cooking food in fats and oils, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the health effects of cooking oils. Is this concern justified, or is it fueled by a lack of understanding of the science of cooking with vegetable oils?
Health conscious consumers are increasingly ditching old favourites vegetable and canola oil for trendy alternatives like coconut and peanut oil. But are they any healthier? And how do they compare with other options such as heated olive oil and butter?
The short answer is, it depends. The long version requires a quick lesson in food science.
Some people may be cautious when it comes to using oils in cooking or with their food. Eating fat with meals conjures thoughts of high cholesterol and, well, getting fat. The fact that some fats are labeled as "bad" adds to the confusion and misconception that all fats are unhealthy.
But that isn’t the case.
A Harvard professor’s assertion that the oil is like “poison” is just one more battle in the coconut oil wars.
Good fats, bad fats. Is there really a difference? Olive oil, avocado, coconut, peanut, canola, soybean and more – there are so many choices. The next time you reach for a cooking oil, registered dietitian Jacqueline Matsunaga, MMN, RDN, LMNT, offers some advice to help you choose wisely and use oils in a heart-healthy way.
WHAT’S the best oil for everyday frying? Some markets where I shop offer more than a dozen oils, from argan and avocado to tea seed and walnut. I’d long figured that the choice is a matter of taste and price. I usually use canola oil because it’s neutral in flavor, a good source of omega-3s and inexpensive. Like soy oil, it costs about a dime a tablespoon, whereas extra-virgin olive oils can run well over a dollar.
Fry carefully: Sunflower oil and corn oil could release toxins like aldehyde! Butter isn't the answer, though—instead, follow our handy guide to your fave oils.
Fats often get a bad rap. But despite what you may have heard, fats, and especially oils, are an essential part of a well-rounded diet. Sautee, bake, drizzle, or sizzle, oils are the starting point of any successful meal, plus they help us absorb important nutrients.
Oils from nuts, seeds, and vegetables contain three main types of fats—saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated—in various ratios. So how do you know which bottle to reach for when you just want to scramble an egg, dress a salad, or stir-fry some green beans? From there, choose olive oil or just about any kind of non-tropical vegetable or nut oil, including avocado, canola, walnut, or peanut, recommends New York-based dietitian and chef Abbie Gellman. While each has a slightly different nutrient profile, Gellman says she rarely dictates the use of one over the other in meal plans she creates, unless a client has a serious illness that requires a plan that's highly specific.
Cooking oils are a source of dietary fat that many of us encounter every day. And with so many options on the market, it’s common to feel overwhelmed when trying to decide which cooking oil is right for you. Fear not: Many oils that may already reside in your pantry are health-promoting and perfect for everyday use in the kitchen.
If you’re wondering which is the best cooking oil for your health—and which oils are not healthy—there’s some disagreement.
Deciding on the healthiest cooking oil to use in your dish isn't always quite as simple as it seems, because you've actually got a good number of options. Despite the ubiquity of ever-popular olive oil, there are plenty of other nutrient-rich cooking oils that deserve a spot in your pantry.
When it comes to selecting which oil you're going to use for your cooking project, it turns out that flavor is only one of many considerations. Here's everything you need to know about the health impact of various cooking oils...
Here's what you need to know about every cooking oil's smoke point, nutrition and flavour.
We all know we need to limit the amount of fat we consume on a daily basis, but I worry sometimes that people take this to an extreme and try to cut fat completely out of their diets. I hope that's not any of you, dear Shape Up readers! Our bodies need fat. But they need good fat.
If you're bored with the same old salad dressing or tired of using olive oil when you're cooking just about everything, listen up! Chef Joe Marcus, from Spina restaurant in New York City's East Village, has this cool oil recipe for you to whip up to shake onto salads, marinate meats, or toss with a serving of pasta.
Of all the options listed above, olive oil performs well and is considered superior to most vegetable oils, although you should still aim to keep heating time to a minimum. Using olive oil also improves the quality of fat in the diet, because it has a healthier profile, being rich in MUFAs and low in saturated fats.
When an oil is saturated, that means that the molecule has all the hydrogen atoms it can hold. Unsaturation means that some hydrogen atoms have been removed, and this opens the structure of the molecule in a way that makes it susceptible to attack by free radicals.
Extra-virgin olive oil...grapeseed oil...sesame oil? Depends on how you use it. For frying, sautéing, dressings and more, these bottles are beauties.
Extra-virgin olive, sunflower, rapeseed or groundnut? It all depends what you’re making. Here’s how top chefs use them.
Fat was once maligned as a healthy diet’s greatest foe, but more and more nutritionists, trainers, and even psychiatrists are increasingly acknowledging the role of healthy fats in a balanced diet—oil and fat are critical for effective brain function, and, counterintuitively, actually help the body burn the types of unhealthy fat that lead to weight gain.
Remember, just because an oil comes from a plant doesn’t make it “healthy.” For example, coconut oil is often thought of as “healthy”, but 91% of the fat it contains is saturated fat. While coconut oils can be healthy to consume occasionally, it’s wise to choose them less often.
All cooking oils will contain varying amounts of fatty acids, with the predominant fat present dictating its stability. MUFAs are less likely to have lipid oxidation byproducts, PUFAs are less stable and more prone to degradation, and SFAs are the most heat-stable yet have the potential to elevate LDL cholesterol.
Vegetable oils have been linked to widespread health and environmental issues yet they’re in everything we eat. We’re here to change that.