We’ve been taught so often that oils are bad for our health that growing up, we began to condition ourselves to avoid it as we grow up. Strolling down the grocery aisles, we’ll be presented with literally hundreds of fat-free products such as baked potato chips, low-fat yogurt, sugar-free cookies and other seemingly guilt-free options.
However, if these fat-free foods are so good for us, why is obesity becoming more and more rampant these days compared to several decades ago when fat-free options like these didn’t even exist? According to the WHO: “Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese.” With statistics like these in mind, it is clear to see that low-fat and oil-free foods were not to able to deliver on their trim, healthy promises.
The sensible thing to do would be to rejoice in the fact that not all oils are evil and thus, bad for our health. It’s time to open up your palate to a whole new world of flavors and health benefits brought on by some of the healthiest and best natural oils around.
The types of healthy fats you should start cooking with include:
For many years, researchers and nutritionists have touted the health benefits of such fats which can be found in grapeseed oil and walnut oil. They are rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids which work hand in hand to repel “bad” LDL cholesterol. Patients suffering from type-2 diabetes have been known to successfully keep their condition under control with regular intake of these oils.
Monounsaturated fats help boost good cholesterol that’s good for the heart and can be found in avocados, most nuts, olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil and sesame oil.
Some of the best healthy and natural oils to cook with include:
This oil is rich in polyunsaturated fats (essential fatty acids including polyphenols) and Vitamin E. It also has a high smoke point, making it an ideal choice to stir-frying and sauteing.
Unlike grapeseed oil which is virtually flavorless, walnut oil will make any dish burst out in flavor. You may not be able to saute a whole lot of dishes with this nutty oil but you’re sure to impress guests with your fabulous salads with walnut oil dressing. Incidentally, it is also rich in alpha-linolenic acid which will aid in a healthier heart, as well as vitamin K which will protect against osteoporosis.
Though pricier than your average supermarket oil, avocado oil contains a high amount of monounstaturated fats. It is generally used in fish dishes to create a fuller flavor or as a core ingredient to make vinaigrettes more exciting.