Thursday, October 25, 2012

Best and Worst oils for your health


I know, I know...we discuss this so many times but a refresher course can't hurt right?  Not only that but can we really remember all the wonderful things we've learned since we've been Natural?  I can't and have to look back at old posts or site to remind myself of what I've learned so it was great for me to come across this and of course I had to share.  Let's start with the better oils first.

The healthiest oils are rich in these healthy fats:

Polyunsaturated: It's time to make polyunsaturated fats, like those in grapeseed and walnut oils, staples. Many scientists consider them the healthiest of all because they contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, increase "good" HDL cholesterol, and may decrease risk for type 2 diabetes.

Monounsaturated: Round out the list with fats like avocado and olive oils, which may boost good cholesterol.

All fats have about 120 calories per tablespoon, so moderation matters (fats should make up 25 to 35 percent of total caloric intake). But oil's nothing to fear, so get cooking with these three favorites.

1. Grapeseed Oil
High in polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E, grapeseed oil has a high smoke point, which makes it a good substitute for olive or vegetable oils when stir-frying and sauteing. And because it's virtually flavorless, it lets top-notch ingredients stand out (like the balsamic vinegar you lugged back from Italy).

Walnut Oil
The ultimate finishing touch. This flavorful, nutty oil doesn't stand up to heat, but it's fantastic in salad dressings or as an accent to winter vegetables. It contains polyunsaturated fats, including alpha-linolenic acid--a heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3--and vitamin K, which may strengthen bones.

3. Avocado Oil
Drizzle it over lean cooked fish to lend fullness, or whisk with citrus juice for a bright vinaigrette. Like other specialty oils, this monounsaturated fat-rich oil is pricier than the everyday stuff, so refrigerate it to keep its subtle avocado flavor fresh. (Bring it to room temperature before using.) --Melinda Wenner Moyer

These are top offenders for general health, heart health and weight management. When in doubt, look at the nutrition label; the lower the saturated fat content, the better. Most healthy oils have around 2 grams of saturated fat per 1 tablespoon serving, so leave anything with soaring saturated fat on the shelf. Here are the top three oils you should avoid:

1. Anything That's "Partially Hydrogenated"
This can be anything, like partially hydrogenated vegetable and soybean oil. Hydrogenated oils and fats are extra-saturated and can increase "bad" LDL cholesterol and decrease "good" HDL cholesterol. They're typically found in processed foods and snack items with a longer shelf-life, so double-check those, too.

2. Palm oil
This oil is generally found in processed foods and contains a high ratio of saturated fat.  Studies show it may raise the risk of heart disease and spike cholesterol levels.

3. Cottonseed oil
Cottonseed oil has a high ratio of saturated fat and may also contain traces of pesticides used when farming cotton crops. Double-whammy!
Oil with a Bad Rap
Recent research shows some potential health benefit to coconut oil, particularly virgin coconut oil.  Although it's mostly comprised of saturated fat, the type of saturated fat (MCT's--medium chain triglycerides rather than long chain) are metabolized differently and pose less risk on cholesterol and heart disease. --Marissa Lippert

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I know that was a ton of info but printing this off and referring to it when needed is a great idea to stay on top of what good and what's bad. 

Let's stay informed Naturals,

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