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Why Cooking Oil Matters

By Sara Butler

There are all kinds of cooking oils on the market today, all with claims about health that may pique your interest. There’s grapeseed oil, avocado oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, canola oil – oh my! The real question is this: Does it really matters what kind of cooking oil you use or not? Each kind has health benefits and health detractors. Here is a quick rundown of the most popular cooking oils for your health.

If You’re Cooking

What kind of oil you use really depends on what you’re going to be using it for. If you’re going to be cooking with oil, then you want an oil with a high smoke point. If you use oil that doesn’t have a high smoke point, then the flavor of the oil and the health benefits of it can be changed if it gets too hot.

The smoke point is the temperature the oil starts to break down. A great oil for cooking is avocado oil since it has a high smoke point and won’t lose its health properties when heated. Avocado oil is an anti-inflammatory and can help lower your risk of heart disease. It’s also high in Vitamin E, which helps to support a healthy immune system.

An example of oil with a low smoke point is extra virgin olive oil. So it’s best used for drizzling over cooked or raw food instead of using at high temperatures.

The Nutrition Label

Most cooking oils have about the same amount of fat and calories, about five grams of fat and 45 calories in one teaspoon. What you want to try to find on a nutrition label is the monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats contained within a particular oil. You want lower amounts of saturated fat and higher levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in the oil you choose. Great choices include:

  • Sunflower seed oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil

Saturated Fat Isn’t All Bad

Saturated fats are a bit of a tightrope walk, since they’re not good for you in large amounts but also aren’t necessarily harmful to your heart in reasonable amounts either. In fact, there are some saturated fats that are absolutely part of a healthy diet. Coconut oil is a great example since it has a healthy form of saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides.

You shouldn’t shy away from oil – you just have to know how and when to use it!

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

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