Posted on Nov 18, 2018, 11 p.m.
Some cooking oils are healthy and some are very unhealthy actually causing harm to the body. Just because it may be labeled as vegetable oil does not mean that it is good for you, most of such is simply heavily refined soybean oil or heavily refined cottonseed, safflower, corn, grapeseed, or other oils; almost all of these processed oils are not healthy.
If you buy processed food or deep fried food it is typically been cooked in these unhealthy oils, or worse hydrogenated version of these oils; you may have even bought some of these oils to use at home in your own baking or cooking adventures.
Problem with these similar vegetable oils is they are mostly composed of polyunsaturated fats that leaves them prone to oxidation and free radical production when exposed to light and heat. These processed polyunsaturated oils become most inflammatory inside the body because of their high reactivity to heat and light. Inflammation is known as the silent and deadly killer that drives many internal problems to develop such as cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases.
Not all polyunsaturated fat is bad, if it isn’t processed such as in whole food like nuts and seeds, it is usually not inflammatory as long as it is not exposed to high heat. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid are polyunsaturates of which a balance of 1:1 to 3:1 ratio is considered healthy. It is best to choose raw seeds and nuts to avoid oxidation of polyunsaturated fats that occurs during roasting. Some nuts are monounsaturated such as macadamias making the issue of raw vs roasted less of an issue.
Vegetable oils are typically heavily refined making them already inflammatory before even cooking with them, it’s best to avoid soybean, cottonseed, corn, grapeseed, safflower, and other similar vegetable oils.
Saturated fats are actually the healthiest to cook with as they are more stable and less inflammatory for cooking conditions. Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oils are best for cooking and even lard and natural butter as they have little polyunsaturates and are mostly composed of natural saturated fats that are least reactive to light/heat, meaning they are the least inflammatory in the body. These saturated fats are good for you as they contain mostly medium chain triglycerides that are lacking from most diets. Lauric acid is abundant in tropical oils and is known to boost the immune system, it is even being studied for use in controlling contagious diseases.
The best baking and cooking fats are raw butter or tropical oils. Extra virgin olive oil is fine for cooking at lower temperatures as it is mostly monounsaturated and moderately stable. Avocado and macadamia nut oil is great for baking as they are also mostly monounsaturated and relatively stable adding great flavour.
It is worth mentioning that whenever possible it is best to minimize use of cooking oils to help reduce overall calories, so use caution not to over do it as those calories add up fast. Do not be fooled by all the hype and deceptive marketing claiming that canola oil is healthy for you as it is not, see https://www.worldhealth.net/news/canola-oil-linked-worsening-memory-dementia-and-weight-gain/ . Most store bought salad dressing are full of unhealthy oils, it is recommended to make your own using healthy olive, avocado, or coconut oil instead.
Using real raw butter and tropical oils can be a healthy choice to help promote a lean, healthy, and strong body as well as to help fight aging processes. So enjoy the delicious coconut, avocado, real raw butter, and extra virgin olive oil dishes knowing that you are doing the body good.
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Shanahan, C. Deep Nutrition.228. Flatiron Books. NY pg. 139