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What Should You Be Grilling With?

By Sara Butler

Chances are, you’ve fired up the grill this year! Summer is definitely the hottest time for grilling, and most people reach for the vegetable oil when they're grilling before throwing food on the flame – but is that really the best choice? For your health, you may want to consider ditching vegetable oil and going with extra virgin olive oil instead. Some vegetable oils are incredibly unhealthy for you, especially when it comes to grilling. Here’s why you may want to think about making the switch.

The Importance of Smoke Point

One of the biggest advantages of using extra virgin olive oil instead of vegetable oil for the grill is its smoke point. A smoke point is the highest temperature oil can reach before it starts to visibly smoke. If oil is heated beyond its smoke point, then it can break down into byproducts that are potentially harmful to your health. Plus, it just won’t taste good!

Vegetable oil has a pretty high smoke point of 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Canola oil has a smoke point of about 400 degrees and coconut oil is about 350 degrees. Peanut oil, soybean oil, and corn oil have a smoke point of about 450 degrees.

Most people shy away from olive oil for grilling because it’s perceived to have a pretty low smoke point of about 320 degrees. But that’s not the whole store. The more refined the extra virgin olive oil you’re using, the higher its smoke point will be. If you invest in really high-quality oil, you’re looking at a smoke point of about 400 to 420 degrees.

That means olive oil -- the good stuff -- is indeed safe to grill with, especially when you consider that when you place items on your grill, it will dip down to between 325 and 375 degrees.

Why Vegetable Oil is Hazardous to Health

Vegetable oil can put a real damper on your health and wellness. Oils such as soybean, palm, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, canola, and grapeseed oil have high amounts of bad fats in them, such as omega-6 fatty acid. Some omega-6 is needed for good health, but excessive amounts have been found in studies to slow how fast the body burns fat and increase appetite.

The bottom line is that many vegetable oils are highly processed and are found in many different processed, pre-packaged foods. They can damage your heart health if eaten too much, can cause weight gain, and can even impact your brain function. On the other hand, extra virgin olive oil has been found to be full of healthy fats – so go with it when you can, including when it comes to grilling!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buford, Ga.

 

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