Good afternoon, friends. Today I want to talk to you about oils.
The assortment of these products is huge on the supermarket shelves. We have many choices of fats and oils for cooking. There are natural oils and not-so-natural oils. However, the most important question is not only the choice of healthy oils, but also whether they stay healthy after cooking.
Personally, when I need to use an oil, I use a special “biohacker” oil with polyprenols added. The result is a double benefit to the body.
Polyprenols are natural bioregulators from Siberian fir greens. Polyprenols are thought to have positive effects on the whole body, from immunity to antioxidant effects.
Manufacturers of polyprenols claim that such oil even has a nootropic effect. I am not a supporter of nootropics and have never used them. But the fact that it says that it specifically has a nootropic effect (rather than being a nootropic itself) is more of a message about improving cognitive function.
There have also been studies on mice as confirmation of the above. But it doesn’t guarantee that it will have the same 100% effect on humans. In any case, I decided to use from such a strategy: “If it works, it’s best. If it doesn’t work, no big deal”.
In addition to this type of oil, there are others that are good for our bodies. Plus if you want to stay healthy, it’s important to remember not to consume harmful ones. Let’s list them.
When it comes to cooking at high temperatures, coconut oil is the best choice.
Over 90% of the fatty acids in it are saturated, making it very resistant to heat. This oil is semi-solid at room temperature, and it can be stored for months to years without going rancid.
Coconut oil also has great health benefits. It is especially rich in a fatty acid called lauric acid, which can raise cholesterol levels and help kill bacteria and other pathogens.
The fats in coconut oil can also slightly increase metabolism and increase satiety compared to other fats. It is safe to say that it is a superfood.
Fatty acid composition:
- Saturated: 92%;
- Monounsaturated: 6%;
- Polyunsaturated: 1,6%.
Make sure you choose fresh, high-quality coconut oil. New research proves that high-quality saturated fats are completely harmless. Saturated fats are a safe source of energy for humans.
This type of oil has been demonized by scientists in the past century because of its saturated fat. But there is really no reason to be afraid of quality natural butter (margarine, on the other hand, is a really horrible product).
Natural butter is healthy and nutritious. It contains vitamins A, E and K2. It is also rich in fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and butyrate, which have health benefits.
CLA can reduce the percentage of fat in humans, and butyrate can fight inflammation, improve gut health, and has been shown to be completely resistant to obesity in rats.
Fatty acid composition:
- Saturated: 68%;
- Monounsaturated: 28%;
- Polyunsaturated: 4%.
There is one caveat to cooking with butter. Regular butter contains small amounts of sugars and proteins, and for this reason it can burn when fried, for example.
If you want to avoid this, you can use clarified butter or clarified butter. This way, you remove lactose and proteins while dealing with pure fat.
Be sure to choose natural butter from grass-fed cows. This oil contains more vitamin K2, CLA and other nutrients compared to oil from grain-fed cows.
Oil made from olives is well known for its heart-healthy properties and is thought to be the main reason for the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
Some studies show that olive oil can improve many biomarkers of health. It can raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol circulating in the blood.
Fatty acid breakdown:
- Saturated: 14%;
- Monounsaturated: 75%;
- Polyunsaturated: 11%.
Research on olive oil shows that despite the presence of fatty acids with double bonds, you can still use it for cooking because it is quite resistant to temperature.
Be sure to choose a quality Extra Virgin olive oil. It has a lot more nutrients and antioxidants than the refined form. Plus it tastes much better. And remember to store olive oil in a cool, dry, dark place so it doesn’t go rancid.
This type of oil is an excellent combination of useful microelements and vitamins (Vitamins A, D, F, E and Tocopherol). This plant product contains linolenic and linolic unsaturated acids, which the human body is unable to synthesize itself.
However, there is a high concentration of fats in the composition of sunflower oil. The caloric value of the product per 100 grams is 884 kcal. It is worth remembering this for those who watch their figure, and do not consume butter in large quantities.
It is an all-natural product. Unroasted sunflower seeds of special oil varieties are used for production. However, the naturalness of sunflowers has a downside: these plants can be perfectly saturated with carcinogens. Therefore you should buy sunflower oil only unrefined and from the highest quality raw materials.
It is also important not to forget that sunflower oil is only suitable for single frying. If you don’t wash the frying pan every time after using it, you will do your body more harm than good.
Animal fats: lard, bacon, etc
This type of oil is not suitable for everyone and not for all diets. However, we cannot call animal fats harmful for health, because they are a completely natural product. The main thing is to use it correctly.
The purity of such oil and its fatty acid content tends to vary depending on what animals eat. If they eat a lot of grain, the fats will contain quite a lot of polyunsaturated fats. If animals are foraged or grass-fed, they will have more saturated and monounsaturated fats.
Therefore, animal fats from animals that are raised naturally are great options for cooking.
If you’re looking for a harmless cooking oil, avocado oil is a great option.
The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil. It is mostly monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated. It can be used for the same purposes as olive oil. You can cook with it or use it cold for salads and appetizers.
This product is very rich in the animal form of omega-3 fatty acids, which are DHA and EPA. A tablespoon of fish oil can meet the daily requirement for these very important fatty acids.
The best fish oil is cod liver oil because it is also rich in vitamin D3, which most of the world is deficient in.
However, because of the high concentration of polyunsaturated fats, fish oil should never be used for cooking. It is best used as a supplement: 1 tablespoon per day. It should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place.
This type of oil is obtained from the fruit of oil palms and is also classified as a natural oil. It consists mainly of saturated and monounsaturated fats with a small amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
However, not all people tolerate palm oil well. Therefore, it should be chosen wisely. If you do decide to choose it, it is best to buy red palm oil (unrefined). It is also rich in vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and other nutrients.
This oil is very popular for cooking in many countries because contains many of the plant form of omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Many people use flaxseed oil in addition to omega-3 fats. However, if you are not vegan, I recommend using fish oil instead. Evidence shows that the human body cannot efficiently convert ALA to its active forms, EPA and DHA, which are abundant in fish oil.
Because of the large amount of polyunsaturated fats, flaxseed oil should not be used for hot cooking.
This oil is obtained from rapeseed, but the euric acid (a toxic bitter substance) has been removed from it.
At first glance, the composition of fatty acids in rapeseed oil is quite good: monounsaturated fatty acids contain omega-6 and omega-3 in a 2:1 ratio. However, rapeseed oil must go through very strict processing methods before it can be turned into the final product.
Rapeseed oil production technology is very complicated and is not followed everywhere. Sometimes the toxic solvent hexane is used to purify rapeseed. Therefore, I believe that this oil is not suitable for human consumption at all.
Nut butters and peanut butter
There are many nut butters available, and some of them taste great. However, they are very rich in polyunsaturated fats, which makes them a poor choice for cooking. They can be used as part of recipes, but do not fry or cook hot dishes with them.
The same applies to peanut butter. Peanuts are not technically nuts (they are legumes), but their oil composition is similar.
However, there is one exception: macadamia oil, which is mostly monounsaturated (like, olive oil). It is expensive, but very tasty. If you want, you can use macadamia oil to cook on low heat.
Seed and vegetable oils
Industrial seeds and vegetable oils are highly processed refined foods that are too rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Not only should you not cook with them, you’re better off avoiding them altogether.
For the past few decades, the media and many nutrition professionals have mistakenly believed that these oils are good for the heart. However, new evidence links these oils to many serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer!
If you want to be healthy do not use these oils for cooking under any circumstances:
- Soybean oil;
- Corn oil;
- Cotton oil;
- Sesame oil;
- Grape seed oil;
- Safflower oil;
- Rice bran oil.
One study also looked at common vegetable oils on store shelves and found that they contained between 0.56 and 4.2% trans fats, which are highly toxic.
That’s why it’s important to read labels. If you find any of these oils on the packaged food you are about to eat, you better buy something else.