Though it is possible to cook various foods without oil, most people prefer using cooking oil, even if in limited amounts, and rightly so. Fats make for an essential and healthy part of the diet. Benefits ranging from promoting cell growth to organ protection, healthy weight, and support in nutrient absorption. Not to mention how fats help us feel full for longer with a sense of satisfaction.
Since a lot of liquid fat goes into our system through cooked food, ensuring that it is healthy is imperative, especially if you cook at home regularly. However, not everything in the market that looks healthy is healthy. Let us look at some worst oils you must avoid getting at the supermarket, followed by some nutritional cooking oil recommendations.
Many love canola oil because it contains substantial quantities of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats while being low in saturated fat levels. However, its unhealthy nature is less known and talked about.
Issues Of Genetic Engineering
Canola oil is heat extracted from various rapeseed plants, further refined, bleached, and deodorized. However, did you know that pure rapeseed oil is high in toxic levels and, therefore, the canola oil for consumption is extracted from a genetically modified version of the plant?
The Issue Of Processing The Oil
The canola oil tends to go rancid when processed under high heat, which creates the need for carcinogenic bleaches and deodorizers such as hexane to get a neutral flavor. The process removes essential vitamins, antioxidants, etc., and boosts trans fats’ levels, linking with chronic diseases such as cancers and heart diseases.
The Fragility Of Oil
The popularity of canola oil is due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids in the rapeseeds, which again is of no value given how fragile and susceptible to oxidation through heating these fatty acids are. Meaning any oil high in omega-3 is not an ideal choice for cooking, not to mention how refined ones go through heat during manufacturing.
And, even if you choose to buy cold-pressed canola oil, which does not have chemicals in the factory, it is still fragile and will oxidize and turn rancid once heated. Avoid the cold-pressed oil where a high smoking point for cooking is required. Instead, use it in foods that do not involve cooking, such as salad dressing, etc.
However natural and healthy the term vegetable oil may seem, vegetable oils are indeed one of the worst oil choices.
The most common vegetable oils are extracts through seeds such as soybean, corn, sunflower, peanut, etc. And, unlike olive and coconut oil, they indulge in an unhealthy extraction process. A majority of people worldwide use vegetable oil for cooking in the image of it being heart-healthy. Although, when you dig a little deeper, you learn that it was never healthy to begin with.
The Issue Of PUFAs
Vegetable oil contains high levels of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats). This contradicts the fact that a human’s body is about 97% monounsaturated fats and saturated fats. To make things worse is the high instability of unsaturated fats, which oxidize easily and quickly.
These oxidized fats cause cell mutation and inflammation, further linked to diseases like cancer, endometriosis, heart diseases, etc.
The Ill-effects Of Processing The Oil
The processing of vegetable oil involves all kinds of chemicals, pesticides, and additives. What’s more, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), which prevent oils from spoiling, are known to be potential cancer-causing agents. The other issues include infertility, behavioral problems, kidney and liver damages, immunity issues, etc.
Healthy Cooking Oils To Consider
Given the many unhealthy cooking oil choices in the market, the need to find a healthy alternative only grows intense. Below are some cooking oils that make for a good option.
It is essential to know that not all cooking oils are the same. Several brands present oils with luring packaging and highlighted health benefits, making it hard to choose the right one. Whenever in a supermarket, read the list of ingredients and their health values carefully, even better pre-research a particular brand or a product to ensure that you eat healthily.