Healthy Oils

Most of us have heard that olive oil is a healthy oil to use. However, it can be confusing because there are so many different grades of olive oil. Does it really make a difference which one you use? Are they all nutritionally the same? Whole Foods website breaks it down for you along with cooking suggestions and a chart of most of the oils and their smoking points.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=132#purchasequalities

Another “Smoking Point” chart along with a detailed definition can be viewed at http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/culinaryreference/a/smokepoints.htm

Heating oils changes the composition of the oils so it is important to know which oils are best for sautéing, grilling and frying to get the most health benefits from the oils you use.

Three oils I like to use are: grapeseed oil which has a clear, light taste. It has a moderately high smoking point. It is low in omega 3s. Another oil I like to sauté or cook with is rice bran oil. This has a high smoking point. It too is low in omega 3s so I interchange these two oils with olive oil and coconut oil which are high in omega 3s and have a moderately high smoking point. All these oils have many health benefits.

Some of the health benefits of omega 3s are stated at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84

As with any topic, there is more than one side to a story. There are different opinions about the safety and benefits of grapeseed oil,  coconut oil and canola oil to name a few so be sure to search out more than one source before you decide which oils you want to use. I’ll be sharing more about oils in the future.

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