A question I get asked a lot is "Sarah what oil should I be cooking my food with?" and its a very good question and something that is often overlooked when starting a weightloss journey.
Lets first talk about the importance of Omega 6 fatty acids and Omega 3 fatty acids ratio in our diets. Both of these polyunsaturated fats do play an important role in our bodies but when there is an imbalance in the ratio it can cause inflammation, clogged arteries, heart disease and an increased risk of cancer.
The world health organzation (WHO) recommends that a healthy ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is 4:1. The average ratio for Australians according to WHO is 10:1 to 25:1 which is well out of the healthy range. This can be a result of vegetable oils, corn and soy additives used in most processed foods. So when looknig at which oils to use remember that to much Omega 6 is a no no.
To determine whether an oil is the best to cook with you need to look at the ones that have a higher smoking point.
Marketed as such a healthy cooking oil its about 70% Omega 6 fatty acid which as I mentioned above that ratio is to high.
This oil contains omega 3 fatty acids but around 87% of it is genetically modified. This oil is fragile and when you compare it to other oils that are high in omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil and flaxseed oil you would never cook with those. Canola oil has a very low smoking point which makes it not best to cook with or consume.
Vegetable/Soy bean Oil
Usually a bottle of vegetable oil 99% of the time will be soybean oil, have a look next time your in the grocery store. Now soybean oil is high in Omega 6 fatty acid which like I discussed above is not good and leads to health issues. Soy is something best avoided in general as it can block absorbtion of many vitamins, minerals and proteins. Its also known to contain phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen in the body which can disrupt natural hormonal balance.
Vegan Butter substitutes
These butters are generally a mixture of both soy bean and canola oil which above you can read as to why this makes it a bad choice.
Corn oil is high in Omega 6 fatty acids which we already know is very bad news. On top of that, corn is the most genetically modified crop which makes it double bad news.
Now on to the healthy oils and the best to cook with. First you will need to forget everything you have been taught about saturated fat.
"Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.” – Dr. Dwight Lundell, MD Cardiologist
Take note of the oils below. I have also included a smoke point for each oil, which is the highest temperature it can be heated before it becomes harmful, take note of this so you know which oils are best for what method of cooking.
Ghee (clarified butter)
Smoking point 425-480degrees
Ghee is rich in fat soluble vitamins A,D & K.
Smoking point: Virgin, raw or unrefined 280°-365°, Refined 400°-450
Benefits of coconut oil is boost metabolism, aid with weightloss, heart health as well as being good for the skin and hair.
Smoking point 320-350 degrees
Olive oil contains anti-oxidants which has anti-immflamatory properties. Olive oil is best served cold though as it has quite a low smoking point.
Smoking point 475-520 degrees
Is great to use because of its high smoking point, but should not be used all the time as it is higher in polyunsaturated fats.
Smoking point 430-455 degrees
Palm oil is great for hgh heat cooking.
Smoking point 325-375 degrees
Butter is a great source od dietry cholesterol which our body needs to function despite old research. Grass-fed butter is best.