Oils – which oils to cook with? and which oils for health?
People get very confused when it comes to what oils to use for cooking. The question I get asked most is what oil should I use to fry my vegetables, eggs, meat, fish etc.
The oils that you buy in large clear plastic bottles in the supermarket -often marketed as polyunsaturated oils, include corn oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, etc are the oils which the majority of people use to cook with.
Polyunsaturated oils are oils that don’t solidify at room temperature and are good for our health. But when these oils are processed – heated, bleached, deodorised and refined, this basically destroys any health giving benefits they had in the first place. Once they are heated to high temperatures, they produce free radicals which are unstable molecules that can damage healthy cells, causing diseases and premature aging.
Another process which is damaging to our health is hydrogenation. Hydrogenated fats are polyunsaturated oils that have been chemically changed to make them behave like saturated fats. Butter or coconut oil are naturally saturated fats that solidify at room temperature. These hydrogenated fats are then used in place of butter ( because of its function as a cheaper alternative) in cakes, biscuits, cereal bars, chocolates etc , mass produced by manufacturers. Thankfully many companies are realising how unpopular this process is and have been advertising their products as ‘free from hydrogenated fats’.
The problem with this processed fat is that the body doesn’t recognise it and isn’t able to utilise it, so it ends up furring up arteries as it is deposited around the body causing heart problems and disease.
So the healthiest oils to cook with would be:
Olive oil (omega […]