You can’t say you are cooking healthy if you don’t have this healthy oils in the kitchen

Cooking healthy doesn’t mean only to choose quality vegetables and meat, from controlled sources. We should also pay attention to the oil we use. Most of the time, the oils used for frying or sautéing are neglected – by indifference or lack of information –  but they make the difference between a healthy meal and one very close to fast-food. It is nearly impossible to eat out local food (not to mention fast-food), which have not been cooked in poor quality oils, with a low smoke point. This means that any food cooked in sunflower oil is a potential carcinogen.

However, you are the chef in your own kitchen are so you are free to use the healthiest oils and fats. Only then you would be right to declare that you’re eating a truly healthy food. Below you will find a list with a few oils that should be present in anyone’s kitchen that is preoccupied with his/her family health.

Coconut oil

If I were to choose a type of oil for cooking or to sauté vegetables, the winner would be the coconut oil, beyond any doubt. This oil is semi-solid at room temperature and has a big advantage: it can be stored at room temperature for months or even years without becoming rancid. Coconut oil contains over 90% saturated fatty acids, which makes it very resistant to the high temperatures during cooking. It also contains 6% monounsaturated fats and 1.6% polyunsaturated fats.

Advantages of coconut oil:

  • brings energy to the body
  • helps in losing weight
  • antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial effects
  • reduces the number of epileptic crises
  • reduces cholesterol and improves the health of the heart
  • populations eating more coconut oil are among the healthiest in the world

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Extravirgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is considered the healthiest oil you can use in the kitchen, as it has numerous health benefits. Most people use olive oil as salad dressing, but few know that it is as healthy for frying or sautéing. There actually is an urban myth about frying food in olive oil. But it can be used safely for cooking, as it has a smoking point much higher than the traditional sunflower oil. The extra virgin olive oil usually contains 14% saturated fat and over 70% monounsaturated fat. It also contains large doses of Omega-6, vitamin E, vitamin K and also some Omega-3.

Advantages of extra virgin olive oil

  • reduces the inflammations in the body
  • protects against cardiovascular diseases
  • reduces the level of cholesterol and the blood pressure
  • helps in treating Alzheimer’s disease
  • also has anticarcinogenic properties

Ghee (clarified butter)

Ghee or clarified butter is a type of oil used in the traditional indian cuisine, but has also been rapidly adopted by famous chefs in restaurants and also in home kitchens. It is true that ghee is obtained through melting and boiling butter, which can make us a bit nervous thinking about all those saturated animal fats, but ghee has all the benefits of butter, without the impurities, lactose and milk proteins, which are removed in the process. Although it contains over 60% animal saturated fat, some studies show that ghee can reduce the level of cholesterol in blood. Ghee can last for about 2-3 months if stored in a dry and dark place. Sun and water are the two enemies of clarified butter. Sealed in a closed recipient and stored in the fridge, ghee keeps its properties for even a year.  Smoking point is very high, at about 250 degrees Celsius.

Advantages of ghee

  • rich in vitamins A, D, E and K
  • protects intestinal flora
  • helps losing weight
  • reduces cholesterol, even if it is animal fat
  • has a wonderful buttery taste, but it is also very well tolerated by people allergic to casein or lactose
  • boosts the immune system and reduces the inflammatory process, which can also cause cancer
  • very high smoking point

Other healthy oils worth using in the kitchen:

  • red palm oil
  • avocado oil
  • peanut oil
  • flax seed oil
  • walnut oil

What types of oil you should avoid when cooking:

  • sunflower oil
  • canola oil
  • soy oil
  • corn oil
  • grape seed oil

Primary sources: Authoritynutrition.com and Webmd.com

Author: Radrian

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