When it comes to cooking oils, we have many options, with supermarket shelves loaded with almost every imaginable option. But all those options also make it extremely confusing, due to the ongoing debate about the benefits, as well as the potential damages that result from the consumption of various oils.
If you want to support your good health, we have made it easier by revealing the healthiest cooking oils, as well as their benefits.
1. Extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil It is one of the most popular foods and can be a very important part of any healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet, which has been followed by some of the healthiest and longest living people in the world for hundreds of years, in which olive oil stands out, as well as its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce cholesterol and regulate Blood sugar has been well publicized. This is probably the reason why the consumption of olive oil has increased dramatically over the years, rising from 29 metric tons in 1980 to 327 metric tons in 2015. as reported by IndexMundi.
This oil, which is made from the fruit of the olive tree, is naturally high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which are considered a healthy dietary fat. Diets rich in extra virgin olive oil, such as the famous Mediterranean diet, have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and lower total cholesterol levels, in addition to having the ability to normalize blood coagulation and regulate sugar in the blood. blood.
In addition to offering support for heart health, olive oil offers many other benefits, including:
Supporting brain health.
Olive oil is excellent for brain health, even to combat cognitive deterioration related to age, as it protects against excess inflammation, oxidative stress and other factors that can lead to dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It can also help improve mood and lead to clearer and more focused thinking, since the brain requires a significant amount of fatty acids. It has even been shown that olive oil decreases the risk of depression. Research outside the University of Las Palmas. In Spain, it was found that when comparing study participants who consumed trans fats regularly with those whose dietary fat consisted mainly of olive oil, consumers of trans fats had a 48% greater risk of developing depression.
Reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Experts from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain discovered a mechanism by which olive oil protects against breast cancer. The researchers decoded a cascade of signals in the breast tumor cells that are activated by olive oil. They concluded that the oil was able to reduce the activity of p21Ras, an oncogene, prevent DNA damage and stimulate the death of tumor cells while triggering changes in the signaling pathways of proteins.
Prevention or treatment of diabetes..
There is also scientific evidence that monounsaturated fats in olive oil offer beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, since fatty acids influence the metabolism of glucose by altering function of the cell membrane, gene expression, insulin signaling and enzymes. activity. Consuming olive oil with a meal can also prevent sugar cravings and overeating, decreasing the risk of diabetes complications
Improves the health of the skin..
Diets that are high in healthy fats can help combat the damaging effects to our skin from sun exposure and UV light, free radicals, toxicity, poor diet and more. It is an excellent source of vitamin E, which is known to accelerate the healing of wounds, fight infections and restore a hormonal imbalance that can cause skin problems such as eczema and acne.
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2. Extra virgin organic coconut oil
Coconut oil is often classified as the best cooking oil in general that exists. While in the past it was unfairly demonized, the reality is that it is one of the richest sources of healthy saturated fat, including unique fats such as lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. These fatty acids contain antifungal and antimicrobial properties: they are easier to digest, smaller in size to allow them to be used for immediate energy, and are processed by the liver, which means that they are converted almost instantaneously into energy instead of stored in the form of fat.
It is known that populations that consume a large percentage of calories from coconuts are much healthier than those in other countries. the coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that are heat resistant and can easily be converted into ketones in the liver. Ketone bodies provide energy for the brain and can be used to improve a wide variety of health problems.
A Study 2014 outside India showed that the high level of antioxidants in coconut oil It was able to reduce inflammation and cure arthritis even more effectively than popular pharmaceutical drugs. As it has been discovered that inflammation is the root cause of multiple diseases and diseases, including arthritis and heart disease, diabetes, migraines, cancer, stroke, chronic pain, peripheral neuropathy and thyroid problems, consumption of coconut oil It can play an important role in healing.
Support for weight loss.
Brazilian research In 2009 he focused on the partnership between Loss of weight and coconut oil. Consumption in women, and found to reduce abdominal obesity. Other studies have found the same, including the research published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health which showed that only one injection of capric acid resulted in "initially rapid, then a gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight" in male rats. The experts also discovered the reason behind this: capric acid significantly improves the functioning of the thyroid and reduces the resting heart rate and encourages the body to burn fat for energy.
Prevent high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Many people still have the impression that eating saturated fats increases the risk of problems like high blood pressure and heart disease, but like olive oil, the healthy fats in coconut oil help raise "good" cholesterol (HDL) and can even convert the "bad" LDL cholesterol into good cholesterol. This improves the health of the heart while reducing the risk of heart disease. A 2013 study published. in the magazine Evidence based on complementary and alternative medicine demonstrated that while The unsaturated palm oil raised the blood pressure, the saturated fat in the coconut oil reduced it.
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3. Avocado oil
The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil: it is mainly monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated mixture. It has a multitude of health benefits and an exceptionally high smoke point that makes it ideal for cooking. Cooking with oils at temperatures above your established smoke point can create those harmful trans fats that are considered a major contributor to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health conditions.
The health of the heart
Avocado and olive oil have been found in studies be the most effective in raising "good" cholesterol (HDL). It is also It has been shown to reduce "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, as well as lower blood pressure.
Supporting healthy vision
Avocado oil is a good source of a carotenoid known as lutein, which is found naturally in the eyes and functions as an antioxidant that provides eye health benefits. Regular consumption of lutein may reduce the risk of eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Like olive oil, the fatty acids in avocado oil are beneficial for the skin. It has been shown to help accelerate wound healing and improve the symptoms of skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Neutralize free radicals.
Thanks to its high level of antioxidants, the consumption of avocado oil can help neutralize free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress damage and, ultimately, to a wide range of diseases.
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4. Animal fats
Animal fats, such as lard and tallow, are also considered healthy as cooking oils, but it is important to choose fats that come from grass-fed or grass-fed animals, since their fatty acid content varies according to the that they eat If they eat a lot of grains, their fat will contain many polyunsaturated fats, but if they are grass-fed or raised on pasture, there will be more monounsaturated and saturated fats.
The experts say When it comes to cooking, frying in saturated animal fats is preferable to frying in corn or sunflower oil. Of the types of animal fats, lard is possibly the best choice due to its significant amount of monounsaturated fats. Butter is composed of 50% monounsaturated fat, while butter contains 32% more, in its natural form, lard does not contain trans fat, which is one of the worst things you can put in your body.
Lard, provided it comes from a grazing animal, since it must have access to sunlight to synthesize it and store it in its fatty tissues, is also the second highest source of vitamin D after cod liver oil , with a spoonful containing 1,000 IU. As it is a soluble vitamin, it requires that fatty acids be absorbed and used in the body, which makes lard the ideal container for vitamin D.
Not only that, but butter contains more saturated fat than vegetable oils, it does not get rancid so quickly and has a higher smoke point, which makes it better for frying and cooking at high temperatures. And, as chefs know, it also makes meals taste great because it has the largest crystals.
Reference: https://www.naturallivingideas.com/healthiest-cooking-oils/, by Susan Patterson
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