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Toil, Toil, more on Oils!

September 11, 2009

cooking-oil-questions-1

So yesterday we talked about the magnificent coconut oil which is making a comeback. Today, we will go over some more traditional oils that you most likely already have in your kitchen.

Canola Oil-is actually said to have the best fatty acid profile compared to other oils in that it is low in saturated fats, high in monosaturated fats, and high in omega-3’s. However, the smoke point is fairly low and has been shown to have an increase risk in lung cancer. Thus, it is best to use at low and medium temperatures. Canola oil doesn’t impart much flavor into a dish so it is good for stir fry’s, marinades, and dishes that one wants to add a lot of spices with. Canola oil also does not have a very long shelf life and can go rancid, so make sure to replace it often or buy in small bottles if you don’t use a lot.

Olive Oil-One can find this lovely oil for as little as $3 and can get as pricey as an expensive bottle of wine. It is high in antioxidants and phytochemicals that have been shown to reduce cancer. You can freeze olive oil to increase storage life. Olive oil is best used uncooked in salad dressings, dips, or sauces. You should avoid using it at high heat.

Flax Oil-Flaxseed Oil has been gaining popularity over the recent years. It is high in Omega 3’s and Essential Fatty Acids which benefit our health in a variety of ways. The ALA component of flax is one to highlight because of it’s crucial benefit to brain development, stress and depression relief, mental acuity, and memory benefits. It has also been linked to decreasing cancer risk, preventing circulatory problems, and is beneficial for your skin, hair, nails, as well as reducing cholesterol. All in all, its a super-oil! Flax oil should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity, and one should not consume more then 1T daily. I’ve used it in salad dressings and loved the nutty flavor it imparts into the food. You can also use it in baking and replace it like butter. If you cook with flax, things may tend to brown quicker.

Hemp Oil-Hemp oil is another super oil with similar properties to flax but even more wonderful EFA’s in it’s makeup. It also has a nutty flavor and should be kept refrigerated. Don’t be scared by it’s very green appearance and hemp is full of nutritional goodness! It is wonderful and salad dressing dips, adding a jumpstart to a smoothie, drizzling over other dishes, and I’ve even used it in some live sunburger recipes, but you will taste it’s flavor. A unique property of hemp oil is that it contains all essential amino acids as well. Note that you should not use hemp oil for frying.  It can also be applied directly to your skin for nourishment and moisturizing!

Alright kids, go get nourishing your beautiful bodies both inside and out with some wonderful EFA’s! Clean out those old oils if you think they may have become rancid, this was actually something I didn’t know (at least about canola). Hehe, I thought fat lasted forever :p Have a wonderful weekend!

What is your favorite oil? How do you use it? Does using oil ever scare you? Recipes???

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 11, 2009 5:54 pm

    I use extra virgin olive oil & flax oil EVERY SINGLE DAY.

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