By Bluma Gordon
Because of the recent renewed enthusiasm for healthy fats, you can expect better alternatives for processed canola oil to be a hot topic in 2019. Here’s to extra virgin olive oil, unprocessed coconut oil, and unprocessed avocado oil—— 3 uber heart-healthy oils that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, raise healthy cholesterol levels, and offer a myriad of other potent benefits.
So, chuck the canola oil, go for the healthier fats, and eat your baked or stir-fried goodies without guilt?
It’s actually not that simple.
Each oil has its own ideal cooking temperature. Once the oil reaches its “high smoke point,” the temperature at which it starts to smoke, beneficial nutrients are destroyed and free radicals—harmful chemicals that cause cell damage or death—are created.
How do these different oils differ? What are their unique health benefits? How should we include them in our diets, while getting the most out of their unique tastes and health perks?
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It’s for good reason that extra virgin olive oil has been crowned king of the healthy oils.
– Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, healthy fats that are vital for brain and heart health.
– Is rich in oleic acid, a fatty acid that reduces inflammation and lowers the risk of cancer.
– Lowers bad cholesterol levels.
– Contains antioxidants, which prevents cell damage and helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
– Protects the body against a host of illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, type-2 diabetes, bacterial infections, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Want tips to give your dishes an olive-oil tuneup?
To enjoy the pungent, slightly bitter taste while benefiting from its health perks:
– Add to salad dressings and dips, and drizzle it over hummus, pizza, and pasta salad.
– Use olive oil as a base for light sautéing.
Don’t make the mistake of: Frying or cooking with olive oil on high temperatures. Unprocessed olive oil has a smoke point of 325-375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Top-rated kosher olive oil:
2. Coconut oil
Here’s why you should be spooning this butter-like healthy fat:
– It contains medium-chain triglycerides, healthy saturated fats that go straight to the liver and are used as immediate sources of energy. These fats help promote weight loss and reduce calories.
– It contains fatty acids that fight viruses and bacteria.
– Coconut oil raises good cholesterol levels.
How to give your foods a coconut-oil tuneup:
– Eat your cake and have the health benefits, too! Its butter-like texture makes a great butter, margarine, or canola-oil alternative for baked goods. Try this Healthy Banana Bread recipe by Cookie + Kate!
– Toss it into smoothies and fruit salads.
Don’t make the mistake of: Using it for frying or cooking at high temperatures. Coconut oil has smoke point of 350 degrees.
Top-rated coconut oil:
3. Avocado oil
Why dig into this unique fruit?
– Is high in oleic acid, a healthy fat that lowers cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure.
– Contains lutein, an antioxidant important for eye health.
– Has antioxidants that helps enhance your body’s absorption of nutrients.
How to give your recipes an avocado-oil tuneup:
– Its buttery, nutty taste makes a choice additive to dips, salads, and smoothies.
– Don’t say goodbye to stir-fry! Avocado oil has a smoke point of approximately 500 degrees. So enjoy your fried rice and tofu noodles without worry.
Don’t make the mistake of: Deep-frying with this oil at very high temperatures.
Want to deep-fry wok-style? Use safflower, peanut, or soybean oil, which have even higher smoke points.
Top rated avocado oil:
Is the extra virgin olive oil on your store shelf missing a kosher symbol?
Good news: According to the CRC, extra virgin olive oil does not require a kosher symbol. However, other extra virgin oils— such as extra virgin coconut oil and avocado oil—do require kosher supervision.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
The Globe and Mail, Smoke point matters with your cooking oil,
Healthline, 11 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil
Healthline, Top 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil,
Healthline, 9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
The Spruce Eats, Smoking Points of Cooking Fats and Oils,