What Oils are Most Nutritious?
The most nutritious oil by far is Olive Oil. It is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which is the healthiest kind of fat for the heart. Olive oil reduces cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also full of polyphenols and antioxidants, these protect your cells against cancer and heart disease. It also contains a newly discovered substance called oleocanthol, known for its significant anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Olive oil can help slow down the aging process, and even help you to lose weight and keep it off. If you have looked for olive oil in the store, you have probably noticed the cheap lighter green variety and the expensive darker green “extra virgin” olive oil. Which kind is best?
You should have a supply of both kinds. Olive oil comes from pressing olives. Extra virgin olive oil is actually from the first pressing of the olives, so it contains a higher proportion of plant extracts. It has a higher concentration of the health benefits from the olive. Regular olive oil is great for cooking. You don’t lose any health benefits because the compounds that make extra virgin olive oil so healthy actually break down easily with heat. Regular olive oil is much cheaper than the extra virgin variety and it still provides the benefit to your heart with its rich supply of monounsaturated fats.
Reserve the extra virgin olive oil for salad dressing or on top of cooked vegetables, pasta, fish, or even popcorn. It adds incredible flavor and increases the health benefits of your meal.
Canola oil is another good option when you want a neutral flavor for your cooking. Of course, it doesn’t include all of the extra antioxidants and polyphenols that you get with olive oil, but it still contains mostly monounsaturated fat.
High heat cooking calls for oils like peanut oil. They have a high heat point, so they can be cooked to high levels without losing a lot of the health benefit.
Roasted nut or seed oils are also great for seasonings. They go great as salad dressing. They do spoil easily, so you should buy small quantities.
When evaluating all of the oils in your diet, you should be going through about 3 times as much olive oil as all the other oils combined. Just remember to save the extra virgin olive oil for opportunities that will give you the chance to really savor it. There is nothing better than dipping pieces of rich bread into a delicious pool of extra virgin olive oil combined with a little vinegar.
Other important health benefits come from oils such as flax seed oil and fish oil. They contain essential fatty acids, also known as Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. These fatty acids are found in every cell in your body, and are vital to the growth and functions of nearly every part of the body. Most Americans are very deficient in EFAs. This could lead to many serious medical conditions, including heart disease, and diabetes. You can get these essential fatty acids in a supplement as well, an excellent alternative.
If you are smart with the oil that you use, your heart will definitely thank you. Pay attention to this aspect of your diet, and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel.