Contrary to popular belief, consuming fats is not always detrimental to health. Fats are generally of two types, namely bad fats which can lead to cardiovascular diseases and good fats which can lower the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body and raise the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) that can prevent many diseases. The fats that are good for the body are generally those which are high in omega 3, olelic acids and monosaturates. Therefore it is very important to choose the right cooking oil, not only for taste but also as improving the overall health of a person. The following is a list of healthy and flavorful oils that can be used in cooking that can help improve your diet.
Five Healthy Oils To Use For Cooking
Olive oil is one of the healthiest and more popular cooking oils. It is a rich source of antioxidants that are beneficial to health. Olive oil also has positive anti inflammatory properties. It can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and can also help prevent serious ailments like breast cancer along with lowering the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Having a smoking point between 320 and 350 degrees, olive oil is best suited for food that can be cooked over slow heat. This oil is best for being drizzled over food and used for salad dressings. It has a pretty light taste making it suitable for a wide range of foods.
Coconut oil is another healthy cooking oil that not only has a wonderful nutty flavor but also provides multiple health benefits. Coconut oil can foster effective weight loss, support heart health, improve metabolism in the body and it also can be beneficial to the skin. With a bit of a stronger flavor, coconut oil is best for sweet baked foods and it also goes well with some savory dishes. It is a popular cooking oil in Thai and Indian cuisine. Coconut oil can be used in two forms namely the virgin coconut oil that has a smoking point of 280 – 365 degrees, and refined coconut oil, which can be used for high heat cooking with a smoking point at 400 to 450 degrees.
This oil has a very high smoking point at 510 degrees. Avocado oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils that can be used to cook food that needs to be prepared at high temperatures. The smoking point of an oil refers to the temperature at which the oil breaks down and starts losing its valuable nutrients. Avocado oil is also a rich source of mono saturated fats which are capable of lowering the levels of LDL and raising the levels of HDL in the body. Derived from the flesh of ripe avocados, this oil has a mellow and buttery flavor which is not overpowering.
Rich in mono saturated fats that foster a healthy heart, canola oil is yet another option of a cooking oil that is extremely healthy. This oil is derived from canola seeds. Canola oil has a high smoking point at 450 degrees and can be used for deep frying foods. It has the properties of being a stable cooking oil that has a long shelf life. Along with being a rich source of energy, canola oil also has good amounts of antioxidants and high levels of plant sterols which have positive health benefits. It has a light yellow color and neutral taste. Canola oil can be used to cook multiple dishes with extreme ease.
Peanut oil is another healthy cooking oil that is high in mono saturated fats. Being a vegetable oil, peanut oil is rich in plant sterols which have the capacity of reducing the risk of diseases that are related to the heart. Peanut oil is also a good source of resveratrol which is an antioxidant that can protect against multiple diseases like cancer, degenerative nerve diseases and cardiovascular ailments.. Peanut oil is a great medium for deep frying foods as it fosters lower level of oil retention. Peanut oil has a wonderfully pleasant flavor. The refined peanut oil has a neutral taste while the cold pressed variety has a prominent nutty flavor and a sweet taste.
Choosing which type of oil to use while preparing your food can not only have a positive impact of the taste of your dish, but it can also have a positive impact on your overall health. Eating healthy does not mean you have to sacrifice flavor.