Updated: Jul 26
IS OIL EVEN HEALTHY THOUGH?
Oils can be considered a 'superfood' when they are processed with care. That being said it is important to remember we can obtain oil from foods that are oily in their wholefood state.
Why is cooking temperature important?
Heat, oxidation and light damages the bonds that hold a fat molecule together.
Damaged fat scrapes our arteriole walls, creates inflammation and is a contributing factor to increased cholesterol circulation and fat deposits.
HIGH HEAT: ghee, lard, tallow, animal fat, cocoa, coconut - saturated fat is strong against heat.
MEDIUM HEAT: butter, dairy -the milk protein can still burn.
LOW-MEDIUM HEAT= olive oil, avocado, sunflower, safflower**, canola**, corn**, soybean**, nut oils like sesame, almond, hazelnut, etc.
NO HEAT= flax, chia, hemp, fish oils you buy from health food stores. Omega oils are delicate! Keep refrigerated
** = highly processed oils of the commercial food industry, and not recommended to consume from a health perspective!!
How to choose the best bottle of oil from the store:
DARK BOTTLE. Since light impacts quality of oil, we like to pick oils that are sold in dark glass bottles- versus plastic (also better for the environment).
UNREFINED. When a manufacturer refines oil it is usually to benefit mass production, extend shelf life and increase the smoke point of the oil, there are some benefits of that to a consumer (perhaps people who like to deep-fry foods), however the overall nutritional value of a refined oil is much lower. Therefore if we want to gain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from our oils, ideally we shall choose unrefined oils. Check out the flow chart pictured in this post, it demonstrates the processing of oil and at what point nutrients are lost.
Therefore unrefined oils are optimal for highest nutritional value, but must be used with care- aka not overheated or we run the risk of creating trans-fat.
COLD PRESSED. The oil is extracted using a machine that cools at the same time to prevent overheating and damaging the oil.
ORGANIC. No harmful chemicals were involved in the growing of the plant or manufacturing of the oil. Did you know? Petroleum chemicals are used to extract oil in mass scale commercial products, and these are some of the most popular cooking oils used in our homes and stores.
100%. Look for the woods to say "100%" either in the ingredient section or somewhere else on the label. Companies can omit ingredients, therefore lacing cheaper oils as fillers.
My favourite oils:
100% cold pressed olive oil. Delicious on salads, dipping bread and for roasted veggies.
100% cold pressed sunflower oil. Sunflower seeds are grown in Canada so a great product to find! I like this oil for making homemade beauty products and low-heat cooking.
100% cold pressed hemp oil. This is one of my favourite oils to drizzle on top of foods. A delicate oil so keep in the fridge.
Homemade ghee for high-heat cooking. I put butter on everything (lol).
Local lard and saved drippings for high heat cooking.
In both the kitchen for baking & the bathroom, coconut oil.
Cacao butter which can be melted for homemade chocolate and beauty products.
Oily foods: local meat, eggs, butter, goat milk / cheese, yogurt, homemade nut / seed paste, peanut butter, hemp hearts, homemade ground flax seed...
How many of these are in your home??