HEALTHY FATS not only improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels but also reduce inflammation. In today’s world, fats are emerging as one of the hottest new functional foods. But knowing which oils are the healthiest is only half the equation. Pairing the right oil with the proper cooking method is important as well. Some oils are good for high heat cooking, while others are better for salad dressing. Each of these oils has its place in the kitchen and serves a specific function. Understanding which oil is suited for which use will help you to make the best choices for you and your family.
1. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: The All Around Booster
Much lauded for contributing to lower rates of heart disease and obesity, extra virgin olive oil contains an impressive army of antioxidants that seem to fight it all: Inflammation, fat buildup and cravings, while also enhancing thermogenesis (increasing the calories you burn while digesting food).
How to Use It: best for dressing and sauces, or sautéing at low to medium temperatures for short durations.
2. COCONUT OIL: The Belly-Fat Fighter
Despite being made up of mostly saturated fat, coconut oil has been garnering rock-star nutritional status for its ability to burn fat. It’s mainly comprised of medium-chain triglycerides, which are readily oxidized by the liver and converted into immediate energy.
How to Use It: ideal for sautéing and baking.
3. FLAXSEED OIL: The Essential Drizzler
Rich in omega-3 fats this oil improves brain function, protects your heart and fends off chronic disease. More Omega-3s in your muscle cells translates into increased energy potential, and Omega-3s are not easily stored as fat.
How to Use It: should never be heated. Add it to protein shakes or sprinkle it onto grains or veggies.
4. GRAPESEED OIL:
High in antioxidants, Grapeseed Oil contains Vitamin E, and a group of bioflavonoids known as procyanadins. It also contains the highest amounts of linoleic acid among any oil or food source. One of two essential fatty acids that the human body can not produce.
How to Use It: with a high smoke point of 420 degrees F, grapeseed oil is great for cooking and grilling of all kinds. It also has a very mild, nutty flavor that’s versatile enough to use in salads or virtually anything.
Like proteins, fats keep you full longer, which helps control your appetite.
No matter which oil you choose, the calories still add up. So, make sure you know how much you use each time.
By: Elena Rassolova