Best and Worst Oils for Your Health

Don't be scared of saturated fats! The MOST stable and healthful fats for cooking and occasional frying at higher temperatures/smoke points are certain animal fats and tropical oils, which belong to the saturated fat family.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a tropical oil that is great for sautéing and baking and you can eat it right out of the jar if you need some high quality saturated fat. Coconut oil has anti-microbial properties and has shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. It is one of the best if not the best saturated fat and is easy to digest because it contains medium-chain fatty acids.

Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter): Ghee is a stable, saturated butterfat with the milk solids (casein proteins) removed. It is safe for cooking and light frying. If you are intolerant to butter, try ghee. Ghee is prepared by melting and simmering unsalted butter at a medium temperature until the water content of the butter has evaporated off. Ghee can be found in co-ops and most upscale grocery stores.

Butter: Don’t forget butter! Raw unprocessed butter from grass-fed cows contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in good ratios. Butterfat increases brain function and increases cell membrane integrity.

Make sure to have one or two of these Omega-3 fats on hand: Walnut Oil, Flax seed Oil, Hemp Oil, and Fish Oil. We do not get enough of these Omega-3 fats in our diet. These oils are great to use in salad dressings that we can make at home which are much better than store bought salad dressings. These oils need to be refrigerated. They can go rancid easily stored at room temperature!

Olive Oil: Olive is a great fat to put on salads and many people like to dip their bread in olive oil. Make sure the oil is Extra Virgin Olive Oil and make sure the oil comes in an opaque container as light can easily damage it. Also, olive oil should be refrigerated as heat can make it go rancid easily. Cooking with olive oil is a somewhat controversial issue. Theories have arisen that heating olive oil can damage it or change the chemical make-up. I’m of the opinion that cooking with coconut oil or ghee are better options.

Fats that should NOT be in your kitchen and you should AVOID!
Margarine or any imitation buttery spreads. The popular method used to process oils is HYDROGENATION. Examples of hydrogenated fats are margarine and shortening. This process transforms the fats, which are naturally liquid at room temperature, into solid at room temperature fats so they are stable for long periods of time. This is a big plus for the processed food industry because these are cheap oils to extract in the first place. Extending their shelf-life through the hydrogenation process makes them even more economical. It’s the health of the public that pays the price! The hydrogenation process usually begins with extracted, already rancid oils from the EXTRACTION phase. [Please be aware that other oils may also be processed, as well as certain saturated fats - mainly tropical oils. Do not consume processed/refined fats or tropical oils! They are as damaging to the body as any other refined/hydrogenated oil!] This is just the beginning of the process in changing these oils into something that can be put on supermarket shelves. Color and odor are added back in to make these chemically altered now Trans-fats resemble butter. Nature did not intend for us to ingest foods that are this heavily processed. The human body cannot recognize these kinds of fats as food! When we consume extracted and hydrogenated fats, we lose the ability to utilize healthy fats properly. Healthy fatty acids are displaced by the “franken-fatty acids” cascading the body into serious health problems such as cancer, diabetes, birth defects, sexual dysfunction, heart disease, and poor bone health, to name a few.

The following oils are UNSAFE to consume under any circumstances!

Canola Oil: Even though Canola is classified as a monounsaturated fat, it is also naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids. Extracted from the hybridized rapeseed, which is a genetically modified crop, canola is a HIGHLY PROCESSED oil! The omega-3 fatty acids in canola are delicate and turn rancid quickly during processing. Therefore, given the fact that canola oil must move through damaging extraction processes to be harvested and deodorized, it is safe to say that canola oil is unfit for consuming, much less cooking! It is an oil of industry and DOES NOT belong in the human digestive tract! Canola is the current oil of choice for prepared foods at Whole Foods Markets across the country.

Cottonseed Oil: Cotton is one of the most genetically modified, pesticide-laden crops in America. Besides the danger of ingesting these pesticides, when did cotton and its seed become a food? Is there anyone out there eating cotton for breakfast? Mentioned earlier in this article, the extraction and hydrogenation processes quarantine pesticides in the oil, therefore the high pesticide levels found in cotton are reason enough to recommend it as inedible! Cottonseed oil is hydrogenated most of the time and is one of the main ingredients in Crisco shortening along with hydrogenated soybean oil. Avoid cottonseed oil at all costs!

Corn and Soy oils: See above. Vegetable oils are derived from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). That’s the first strike. The seconds is they go through the same process as Canola and Cottonseed oil. Don’t eat it!

Remember fats are not the enemy. Saturated fats are in every cell in our body and give the walls of the cell their shape and consistency, so cells can move nutrients in and out of them and perform all of their functions properly. Get the correct 1:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats in your diet and consume whole nutrient dense foods and stay away from processed foods! Eat the foods nature intended us to eat, not something created in a laboratory.

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