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Cooking oils are something that can turn an otherwise healthy meal into a health-destroying meal. There are oils that cause inflammation and damage your body including your brain. Then there are oils that are actually healthy for you and offer great nutrition.
There has been a lot of misinformation stating that all fat is bad for you. That is simply not true. Not all fats are created equal.
What cooking oils should you avoid?
Before we get into the healthiest cooking oils, let's first take a look at the oils you want to avoid using and consuming. Pretty much all vegetable oils are bad for you. This includes canola oil, corn oil, soy, grape seed, peanut, cottonseed, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. These oils are full of damaging compounds that lead to disease and inflammation in your body.
Most fast food and junk food are full of vegetable oils which leads to a lot of the health problems we face in today's world.
The good news is that there are oils that benefit your immune system.
Here are our top 5 healthiest cooking oils:
#5 Walnut Oil
Walnuts by themselves are a great snack. Full of healthy omega 3s for a healthy brain. The oil derived from walnuts is a good option for cooking. It has a smoke point of about 400 degrees, making it great for frying. Give it a try if you want a healthier cooking oil option.
#4 Perilla Seed Oil
Perilla Seed oil is probably an oil you have never heard of. It is used mainly in Asain cuisine. It also has a great amount of omega-3 and the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This oil is used as a beauty product for skin and hair, as well as for cooking. One thing that I love about perilla seed oil is that it's easy on your gut. If you have a sensitive stomach, perilla seed oil is recommended to help heal your gut. So if you have had trouble with other oils, maybe give this oil a try. It is hard to find perilla oil in stores, but I was able to find this good organic one on Amazon.
#3 Avocado Oil
Avocados have quickly become a favorite food for a lot of people. The great thing about avocados is that it's full of good fats, making it a great choice for a cooking oil. One benefit of avocado oil is that it has one of the highest smoke points at 520 degrees. It is also a great dressing for salads. It's full of monounsaturated fats and pairs well with almost any food.
#2 Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is being used for just about everything nowadays. From hair products to skin products to dental hygiene (ever heard of oil pulling?). Coconut oil is very versatile. Cooking with coconut oil is very beneficial for your health. Coconut oil also contains MCTs which are medium-chain triglycerides that aide in protection from oxidative stress in your body. MCTs are also extracted from coconut oil and sold separately. It is more expensive and usually used by people on a keto diet in order to produce more energy from the MCTs. It's no wonder why coconut oil is being used as a cooking oil in the fitness industry.
#1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil also has a great ratio of omega 3 to 6 ratio. The problem is that almost everyone has more omega 6 to omega 3 ratios (because of our standard American diet). This leads to inflammation and disease. In order to bring that ratio to a healthier range, you need to consume foods high in omega 3s like extra virgin olive oil. It's a very common oil and can be found in many stores. However, please make sure the olive oil you purchase is 100% olive oil. Some brands market themselves as olive oil but are just a cheap brand mixed with vegetable oil, like canola oil. It's also a great dressing for salads and used as a healthy topping for many dishes.
There you have it.
Our top 5 best and healthiest cooking oils. Start making small changes in your diet, like implementing these beneficial oils and getting rid of the not-so-healthy-ones, and enjoy better health and less inflammation.
It feels good to be able to eat fried foods cooked with these oils and know I'm still taking care of my body. By including these oils in your diet, you are making sure to consume more omega 3s in your daily life and that will improve your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio.
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