Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Cooking Oils

Oil is a refined food. And if its refined, chances are it isn't healthy per say. The processing of oil to prevent it going rancid robs it from most of its original nutrients. It isn't something that is good for you and should be used in limited amounts. It's perfectly possible to cook without oil, and instead get all your Essential Fatty Acids from nuts, avocados etc. But would your food taste as good without the oil content? Of course not. Food just tastes so much better with the addition of oil. That said, oil in small amounts is not harmful if you are not overweight or suffering from disease.

Different kinds of oils

There are three kids of oils: saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated. Saturated oils are solid at room temperature. Mono-unsaturated oils are fluid at room temperature but solid in the refrigerator. Poly-unsaturated oils are fluid at room temperature and in the refrigerator.

However, all oils contain a mixture of the above three kinds of oils. Below I've highlighted some common oils and their fatty acid contents:


Octamom said...

Enjoying perusing your site! Such good information here! I cook almost exclusively with olive oil and just love it--it's so great to see the various components of cooking oil in chart form--


Live.Love.Eat said...

Thanks for stopping by. I hear ya on whole wheat flour being healthier but it's just a personal choice in certain dishes where I still use regular.

I enjoy your blog!!!!!

Britt said...

You have a lot of good information here, and you write it in a way that doesn't make my eyeballs shrivel .. thanks for stopping by!

I never would have found you otherwise :o) Off to snoop around some more..

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

Love love love coconut oil.

Dr. Art Ayers said...

I just discovered macadamia oil and it is loaded with an omega-7 fatty acid that I think is going to be a health boon.
Olive oil is great. There is a component in EVOO that tastes and acts just like ibuprofin. That's why the healthiest olive oil has the bitter bite.
I am reconsidering coconut oil. It gets a bad rap because of the saturated fats and low omega-3's, but I think that it is still safer than the other typical vegetable oils.
I enjoy your blog.

Cookie said...

OMG where in the world did you get your Panda pan? I LOVE it!

George D. Henderson said...

I like tallow, the beef fat, for cooking; it is very low in PUFAs, and some of those are in the form of CLA, which has health benefits, I mean over and above those of saturated fats.
I've slowly come to believe that we should get PUFAs from cod liver oil, fish, and whole nuts and seeds (not oils); MonoUFAs, squalene, and antioxidants from olive oil; and use saturated fats like tallow (or coconut, but talloow is cheaper) for all cooking.
The elevated saturated fats in our blood and fat cells come from excess carbohydrates, not from dietary fats, and the more fat and protein we eat, the less carbohydrate we need, and we can focus on green leafy veges and a few inulin-containg roots instead, like our ancestors did.
For some positive health benefits of saturated animal fats, have a look at this
and for a more general discussion of the science, look at the Weston A. Price institute website