Oil is a commonly used ingredient in all types of cooking, especially Asian food, because it adds moisture, makes food extra savory, and can create a crispy texture unlike any other. Although oil is often associated with fat and weight gain, the truth is…NOT ALL OILS ARE CREATED EQUAL! Most vegetable oils that we typically associate with being healthy are actually highly processed and detrimental to your health.
Good vs. Bad Fats
Good oils and healthy fats can be extremely beneficial for your health. To break it down simply, oil does create fat but fat isn’t always bad. In fact, good oil that creates mono or polysaturated fat will help to protect your internal organs, support brain function, keep your cholesterol at bay, and keep your heart beating strong. On the other hand, BAD oils are those not made by nature and extremely processed. When you consume these bad oils hidden in fast food and processed items, this creates saturated or trans fat in your body aka the main cause of weight gain, coronary heart disease, and chronic inflammation. This inflammation can increase the risk of depression and dementia. Not to mention these oils are also filled with added chemicals which act as carcinogens that attack our endocrine and immune systems.
Good vs. Bad Oils:
PROCESSED VEGETABLE OILS TO AVOID (in no particular order):
1. Canola/vegetable oil (ie. Crisco. All fast food chains use this) This also includes PAM, the canola oil spray
2. Corn oil (ie. Mazola. Fast food chains use this as well)
3. Soybean oil (found in most salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine products)
4. Cottonseed oil
5. Grapeseed oil
6. Sunflower oil (used in a lot of Trader Joe’s products, probably the least processed out of all these listed but still not the best)
7. Rice Bran oil
8. Safflower oil
GOOD OILS TO USE:
1. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil has a high cooking point and can substitute any of the bad oils noted above. It has a mild taste and cooks everything well, even french fries! Costco a large bottle of this for $10 and also sells a two-pack of the cooking spray that you can use instead of PAM, which is made out of canola and palm oil. Although it’s a bit more expensive than the other oils, it’s worth the investment in your long term health.
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is naturally derived and tasty even on its own. You can find this product everywhere and is usually cheaper than avocado oil. This oil does NOT have a high smoking point and becomes cancerous when you cook it higher than 375 degrees.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is extremely versatile. It can be a great addition to your morning coffee, smoothies, and skincare routine. Because coconut oil has such a high amount of fat and calories, it boosts your brain function and immediately gives you energy. Coconut oil does harden at room temperature so if too much is consumed, it can create a hardened build up of plaque in your arteries which interferes with blood transferring oxygen throughout your body. Do not eat more than 2 tbsp a day.
4. Sesame Oil
This option will resonate the most with us since sesame oil is commonly used in Asian dishes. Swapping vegetable oils with sesame oil will greatly improve your heart health, lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and improve your skin and hair. Sesame oil, like olive oil, has a low smoking point so it’s not recommended to fry with
We hope you take the time to go through your kitchen cabinets and choose healthier options like these at the grocery store! If you have any questions or need more recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask us!