Healthy Cooking Oils: What You Should Know
By Sara Butler
If you cook regularly, you know that cooking oil is important in a lot of recipes. But if you are trying to focus on your health, then it’s important to choose the cooking oil that is best for your health. While all cooking oil contains fat and calories, that fat may not necessarily be a bad thing if it’s the good kind! Here are a few cooking oils you should consider keeping in your pantry and a few that should be shelved for good.
Coconut oil has been in the news a lot lately because of the amount of saturated fat found in it. Saturated fat is generally recognized as a contributor to the development of heart disease and high blood pressure. But coconut oil also happens to have something called “medium-chain fatty acids,” which your body has a harder time converting to fat than other sources of saturated fat. So, coconut oil may not be as bad as you’ve been led to believe, but you should limit how much you have.
Palm oil is used in a lot of restaurants because it’s cheap with a neutral taste -- perfect for the restaurant industry. But there’s a reason it’s so cheap -- it’s high in saturated fat. So, palm oil should be avoided for use at home.
This is one of the most popular cooking oils for the home and it’s pretty good for you as far as oils go. It’s full of monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and may reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Olive oil also has antioxidants in it that fight inflammation, so it’s a keeper!
If you’re looking for another healthy option, then look no further than canola oil. It may not be as trendy, but it’s just as healthy. It’s low in saturated fat but high in monounsaturated fat to help lower your cholesterol and fight inflammation. It also has a much higher smoke point than olive oil, so it’s better to use when cooking at high temperatures.
Flaxseed oil is firmly in the middle of the health spectrum for cooking oils because it can be harder to find than other oils and it’s not a great oil to use for cooking with heat. So, reserve this omega-3 fatty acid-rich oil for cold dishes and salads.
Oil can be good for you -- if you know what to choose and how to use it!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monroe, La.