Oils are necessary for cellular function. But, there are different types of oils on the market.
Here are some ways to choose healthier cooking oils.
Fats are important to your body. They are essential for brain function and also for cellular integrity. Without fats, your body will have a hard time functioning. So diets that are very low in fat are not going to be healthy in the long run.
Before we go any further, it is worth noting that even though having a measure of oils each day is good, having too many of them can increase your cholesterol and fat stores. So it is better to eat them or use them in moderation. Only about ten to twenty percent of your diet needs to be devoted to fats.
So, what about cooking? We have heard that it is not healthy to have some foods in our diet, but what about cooking with oils? Depending on what type of cooking you are doing, less oil is absorbed into the food than is used to cook it.
We all cook with oil. It is a staple. But, you can make healthier choices for the oils that you need. First, consider the saturated fat level. We are all told that saturated fats are bad, but in cooking oils they are essential for stability when heated to high temperatures.
- Coconut oil – This is a good oil to use for cooking. It doesn’t release as many free radicals in the body. As we know, free radicals are a by-product of cellular metabolism. They damage cells and organs leading to the signs of aging and disease. Coconut oil is full of vitamins including E and K.
- Butter – While you don’t need to eat cake made with it, you can cook with it. Sautéing vegetables or lean meat in butter can cook it faster. Blot off your meat after cooking and avoid using breadcrumbs or other coatings that can absorb oil and add to your caloric intake. But, butter does contain antioxidants that the body needs to fight free radical damage.
- Olive oil – We have been hearing about this oil for years. Most choose extra virgin olive oil which is created at the first pressing. It lowers bad cholesterol and contains vitamins K, E and A.
Other oils you may be used to using, such as Canola oil and peanut oil, are not good for cooking. While they are monounsaturated fats, they can create higher levels of trans fatty acids which are known to lead to heart disease.
The best way to get your oils is through cooking. You can control the amounts and keep them at a safe and healthy level. Use the guide above to decide which oils you will include in your diet.