All About Oils

coconut oilHas anyone ever told you how good for you olive oil is? What about coconut? When you go to buy oil what do you look for? The words cold-pressed, expeller-pressed or even organic can be misleading when it comes to buying oil. The very first word you should look for, and often a hard one to find is “unrefined”.  If the oil you’re looking at doesn’t say unrefined – very simply, do not buy it.

So the question becomes, why is unrefined oil better for you than refined? Largely for the same reasons you want to get fresh organic produce instead of canned vegetables, to get the nutritional value that you don’t otherwise get. Unrefined oils are mechanically pressed under low heat and occasionally filtered once.  They keep their original flavor, scent and color (which is sometimes cloudy).  Due to the minimal processing these oils are able to keep their vitamin E content which helps to preserve the oil and reduces free radical activity in the body.

The next thing to be aware of is using the right kind of oil for the right job. Oils with high saturated fat content, like butter and coconut oil, tend to be solid at room temperature. These fats are well suited to being used at high temperatures for cooking or baking. You may need to melt them to get the proper measurement. Oils with high monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and often turn solid when refrigerated. Use these oils with low heat for things like dips and dressings. Olive oil and nut oils would fall into this category so think twice before you throw olive oil in a frying pan.

I have met many people who want to lose weight and so often the first thing they try to do is cut out all fat. While this might seem understandable cutting out everything can deprive us of essential nutrients. To properly absorb nutrients, particularly vitamins A and D you need fats and a good way to get those is by using healthy oils. So if you’re going to cut out some fat then remove oils with high polyunsaturated fatty acid content, like sunflower and corn oil, which can create free radical activity.

More then anything else, enjoy the scents and flavors that come with using good quality oils.

Not sure which oils to get or how they’re best used? Schedule your herbal consultation today to get help with your diet.