It still blows my mind how much erroneous (there’s my one big word for the day), downright wrong and dangerous information there is out there regarding health and nutrition. If you are reading this, then you are obviously someone who is interested in health, you want to eat right but are confused due to the mixed messages you’re getting from different sources.

 

This article has come about due to some garbage I came across in a popular women’s magazine (not mine I swear) which proclaimed some absolute crackers like these:

 

1. That canola oil was great for frying foods in.

2. Coconut oil should be used with caution due to its high saturated fat content.

3. Butter is not recommended as a healthy cooking grease option, and

4. Margarine is healthier than butter and is good for being used as a spread.

 

Is this 2015 or 1995?

 

Now I don’t know if this reporter actually believes this stuff, or is getting a kickback from Crisco?

 

To understand which oils we should and shouldn’t be using, we need to look at a few different factors. Firstly we should understand what chemical changes fat can go through when exposed to high heats such as when we cook.

 

See the fats and oils you use must be stable enough at high temperatures to resist oxidization. This is the process that some cooking oils go through when heated and mixed with oxygen, which turns it rancid. Polyunsaturated oils are much more susceptible to this.

 

Why us this a problem? Well eating enough oxidized foods can lead to a multitude of health problems and heart disease.

 

See we used to think that it was saturated fat and dietary cholesterol which caused clogged arteries and vascular disease, however now science is proving that the main culprit is more likely inflammation.

 

Inflammation can be caused by a multitude of factors (as I outlined in one of my last articles), one of which is consumption of oxidized oils and foodstuffs. This is why it is key to also eat diet rich in anti-oxidants, which help counter the effects of oxidization and inflammation.

 

Another factor we must take into account when selecting the best oils is our bodies Omega 6 vs Omega 3 ratio. Vegetable oils just so happen to be high in Omega 6 fats, and consuming too much Omega 6 can also lead to many health problems. Keeping the ratio of Omega 6 to 3 in balance is a smart choice. This is also one of many great reasons why we should all be taking a high quality fish oil supplement.

 

The last point I will bring up in comparing which oils to use is nutrient content:

 

WORST FOR COOKING

Vegetable Oil

–      High in polyunsaturated fats

–      High in Omega 6 fats

–      Throw it in the bin or NSW supporter

Canola Oil

–      High in polyunsaturated fats

–      High in Omega 6 fats

–      Good to be used a doorstop

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

–      High in monounsaturated oils which is good for ‘good cholesterol’ levels

–      Low in polyunsaturated fats

–      High in antioxidants

–      Lower smoke point than saturated fat oils

–      Not ideal to cook with as more stable than vegetable oils but not as stable as high saturated fat oils

–      Great for eating raw such as on salads

–      Store in a cupboard as is susceptible to light and heat

–      If stuck on a desert island and you had given up hope of getting off and were cooking a candle-lit dinner for you and your volleyball, choose over vegetable oil to cook with.

 

olio e olive

BEST FOR COOKING

Butter

–      High in saturated fat, which means it is very stable at high temps

–      High in nutrients such as vitamins A, E, K, and D

–      High in Lauric acid

–      Rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

–      Rich in Butyric Acid

–      Get on it

Ghee

–      High in saturated fats (which is good)

–      High in nutrients such as vitamins A, E, K, and D

–      High in Lauric acid

–      Rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

–      Rich in Butyric Acid

–      Very good, but still feel welcome to throw anything at NSW supporters

Coconut oil

–      High in saturated fats

–      High in Lauric acid

–      High in Medium Chain Triglycerides

–      Best choice

 

  SATURATEDFAT % MONO-UNSATURATED FAT % POLY-UNSATURATED FAT % OVERALL VERDICT
Avocado Oil 20 70 10 Healthy – yes.

Cooking – yes

Butter 65 32 3 Healthy – yes

Cooking – yes

Corn Oil 17 24 59 Healthy – no

Cooking – no

Coconut Oil 90 7 3 Healthy – yes

Cooking – yes

Flax Oil 9 19 72 Healthy – yes

Cooking – no

Fish Oil About 5% About 15% About 80% Healthy – yes

Cooking – no

Ghee 65 32 3 Healthy – yes

Cooking – yes

Grapeseed Oil       Healthy – no

Cooking – no

Olive Oil 13 76 11 Healthy – yes

Cooking – no

Sesame oil 15 42 43 Healthy – yes

Cooking – no

Sunflower Oil 13 27 40 Healthy – no

Cooking – no

 

As always the QUALITY of the any foods we eat, fats in particular is paramount. Raw, unrefined oils or fats from wild, grass fed animals are by far the best.

 

If you have any questions regarding anything about this article or health or fitness in particular feel free to get in contact with me through Facebook. Also, feel free to share this with any friends or family you think may benefit from the information.

 

Thanks again for reading. :)

 

Kurt