Cooking Oil Facts
I used to think that oil was oil. I used it to sauté veggies, or in a recipe, or to make popcorn, not really on my radar.
— Malibu Mama Loves (@MalibuMamaLoves) September 16, 2014
Really? I thought, it is just oil…
Then I did some research, I was curious.
I was shocked at what I found.
This is what I did not realize – If you are not using a stable oil, as you are heating it up the oil will undergo oxidation – it will react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that you definitely don’t want to be consuming.
In order to figure out if the oil you use is stable, you must first determine the amount of saturation of the fatty acids in it. I learned that it is the double bonds within the oil that are chemically reactive and sensitive to the heat.
There are 3 types of saturation:
Monounsaturated fats – Usually found in plant foods like olives, nuts and avocados. They contain a single double bond between two carbon atoms. Most of the oils high in this fat are likely to oxidize at high heat levels so probably not the best bet.
Polyunsaturated fats – There are two biologically important subgroups: omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. These contain two or more double bonds. It is most important to make sure these are balanced as they can cause many problems with your hormones. However, these are super sensitive to heat so best to use oils that are high in this fat for dressings, salads and dips – not for cooking with heat!
Saturated fats – Found in butter, cheese, and fatty meats, coconut and palm oils. They contain only single bonds. As it turns out this is the best for cooking with. These actually give your body the building blocks for which to make great energy and keep you healthy.
Here is a little table I put together of the % of each fat in several different kinds of cooking oil:
When I discovered the truth about Canola Oil and how modified it is and that it actually causes us harm, I began using Olive Oil. Which is great for you, unless you are using it to sauté or cook at high temperatures (which I regularly would sauté my veggies in). It actually oxidizes and can become harmful to us.
Now I am so happy to use Coconut Oil. It does everything and provides so much nutritional value while giving the best flavor! It has my vote for best cooking oil ever!
I have read that in order to make the palm oil they are having to destroy rainforest after rainforest –leaving many animals in danger of extinction. With something as good as coconut oil on the market – which hurts no one to make – why would you even entertain using the palm oil? So just be aware of that whilst shopping and making your choices!
Cheers and Happy Sautéing!
Malibu Mama Loves Xx
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