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Which Oil Is Right for Your Dish? And Which Should Be Avoided Altogether!

In today’s market, there are so many different types of products out there, each with their own health claims. It can be overwhelming at times to know what is actually good for us. We’ve explored oils, from coconut to flax, to uncover which are best and which to avoid.

The main association most people have with oil is ‘fat’. Fat is actually one of the most important factors in our diet as it boosts energy, supports cell growth, protects organs, keeps our bodies warm, aids in nutrient absorption and the manufacturing of hormones. Oils can be a great source of these healthy fats, but choosing the right variety is key.

Coconut Oil When it comes to high heat cooking, coconut oil reigns supreme.

Over 90% of the fatty acids in it are saturated, which makes it very resistant to heat & safe for humans. Coconut oil also has powerful health benefits – it is rich in Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens, it can also boost metabolism slightly and increase feelings of fullness compared to other fats.

Olive Oil Olive oil is well known for its positive effects on the heart, its ability to raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and lower the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream. As it is only mildly heat resistant, it is best used as a dressing or in low heat cooking.

Avocado Oil The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil and is known for its anti-aging properties. It is primarily monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated mixed in. It can be used for many of the same purposes as olive oil – you can cook with it, or use it cold.

Flax Oil Flax oil contains plant-based Omega-3s, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) and may be used to supplement with Omega-3 fats. Due to the large amount of polyunsaturated fats, flaxseed oil should NOT be used for cooking but is safe to have cold.

Nut Oils and Peanut Oil There are many nut oils available and often retain their nutty flavour, which can be either invited or unwanted. They are not ideal for cooking as they are very rich in polyunsaturated fats – aside from macadamia nut oil, which is mostly monounsaturated (like olive oil) so can be used for low- to medium-heat cooking.

Seed and Vegetable Oils (Soybean, corn, cottonseed, canola, rapeseed, sunflower, sesame, grapeseed, safflower etc.) Industrial seed and vegetable oils are highly processed, refined products that are way too rich in Omega-6 fatty acids and should be avoided altogether. These oils have been wrongly considered ‘heart-healthy’ by the media but new data links them with many serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Whether it’s cooking, dressing or frying, make sure you choose an oil which is safe & healthy. Always remember to keep your oil in a cool, dry, dark place, to prevent it from going rancid.


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