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What cooking oil is best for you?

All liquid vegetable oils are low in saturated fat and contains no cholesterol , palm and coconut oil are however high in saturated fat and becomes solid at room temperature.
Irregardless of whether the fat or oil is liquid or in solid form , a teaspoon of oil or fat contains 45 calories. Using a lot of oil in your cuisine can add up calories. Some people use non stick cooking spray, like PAM spray and Healthy way and butter buds. After reading the ingredients of the aerosol pan coating, I had second thoughts of using it. The label states it has water,isobutane,propane,soybean,lecithin,sorbic acid ,potassium sorbate and beta carotene. Sounds scary. I wonder what the residue can do to the environment. Butter buds however do not contain threatening ingredients but it is inconvenient to use and the taste did not agree well with my taste buds. It is a personal choice. Try it ,you may like it

Do not give up the fat, instead, choose the fat or oil you use and use it in moderation.
There are things we need to know about oils before choosing what oil is best for you.
1st what health benefit does the oil give you and second you need to know the smoke point so you know which oil to use for your cooking.

Fats or oils are categorized into the following: saturated,polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.

The bad fats or oil ( Saturated)

Saturated fats raises total cholesterol and LDL ( bad cholesterol)
Trans Fat is present in many processed product . If the label does not indicate trans fat,look at the ingredients, if the product label list hydrogenated fat or partially hydrogenated fat ,the product has trans fat.
Palm oil and coconut oil are highly saturated .
Vegetable shortenings is a good example of saturated fat that is from vegetable
Lard.butter and the fat from your meats (pork fat & skin,chicken fat & skin,turkey skin,beef & fish ) is high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Vegetable shortening,block margarine( stick not the tub) butter, cottonseed oil, palm kernel and coconut oil are high in saturated fat . There is a rumors in the Asian community that virgin coconut oil is good for you and is tauted as having health benefits, such as lowering one’s cholesterol and preventing heart attack. I have not read any credible information that validates this claim.

The good oils

Monounsaturated fat – is an oil that reduces total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol(bad cholesterol) and raises HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Oils that are rich in monounsaturated fats are extra virgin olive oil,canola oil,macademia oil,grape seed oil,flax seed oil ,soy, pumpkin and mustard seed oil.

More information to know:
Flax seed is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids but spoils quickly and requires refrigeration.
Canola oil has the lowest saturated fat among the cooking oils. Canola is grown exclusively in Canada and Northern USA. It is rich in omega 3 & 6 fatty acid .Canola oil is extracted from rapeseed , a member of the mustard family. Canola oil, like mustard oil has been used for thousands of years The current concern pertaining to canola is the use of a petroleum product hexane to extract the oil from the rapeseed.Consumers are concern about the toxicity of canola oil and the harmful effect hexane has on the environment, Canola has been noted as the cause of a host of diseases including glaucoma, emphysema,anemia and mad cow disease. The smoke point is high and is excellent for frying. The verdict? its not final. The canola oil manufacturers are making measures to correct the concerns. In the meantime its all up to you to decide whether you want to use it or not.

Polyunsaturated fats lowers LDL (bad cholesterol ) and raises HDL (good cholesterol). Getting too much of this oils has been linked to suppression of the immune system and growth of malignant tumors in animals

Grape seed is mostly imported from Italy. It is the French chef’s choice of oil because it does not impart flavor to the food and does not taste greasy . It is however a polyunsaturated fat and a fragile oil not suitable for frying.

Soy contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acid but is usually subject to hydrogenation

Moderate oils

Safflower oil,and sunflower oils are both rich in omega 6 fatty acid and low in saturated fat. Corn oil has moderate amounts of saturated fat and is usually hydrogenated. It is also rich in omega 6 fatty acid. Peanut oil is high in saturated fat but not as high as butter

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in mono unsaturated fats . It contains phytochemicals that may help reduce total cholesterol and protect against cancer. This is the preferred oil in the Mediterrenean diet. Crete, a small country along the Mediterrenean sea includes cold press olive oil in there daily fare. It is usually cold press and extracted from the flesh of the ripe olives. Light olive oil does not offer the health benefits of the EVOO because most of it is lost during the refining.EVOO imparts a delicious flavor to vegetables,meats and pasta. Not the ideal oil for baking, because the flavor does not marry well with cakes and pastries.. Also not a good candidate for deep frying.

Marine oil is found in fishes that lives in the cold waters such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardine. It contains omega 3 fatty acid. Studies shows that it may help reduce cholesterol level and helps reduce total blood cholesterol. It maybe important in preventing heart attack and other illness such as rheumatoid arthritis and clogged arteries. Unfortunately there are no oils available for you to buy, to get this benefits,you need to eat cold water fishes at least 2 times per week. The eskimos are carnivorous, there diet is high in fat from the blubber or fat from whales which they eat to keep them warm yet the incidence of heart disease is low as compared to the rest of the world. It is partly because there daily fare includes salmon and cod liver ,2 great sources of omega 3.

Heres a chart to show you at a glance some of the popular oils and there characterize
Some of the data in this chart was obtained from Sue Gilbert, MS,Nutritionist Blog

Type of oil Polyunsaturate fat Mono unsaturated fat Total Unsaturated fat Saturated fat Smoke point
Olive oil 9% 77% 86% 14% 365 Deg F
Sunflower oil 77 % 14 % 91% 9% 468 Deg F
Soybean oil 61% 24% 85% 15% 458 Deg F
Safflower 77% 14% 91% 9% 500 Deg F
Canola oil 36% 58% 94% 6% 442 deg F
Corn oil 62% 25% 87% 15% 448 Deg F
Peanut Oil 34% 48% 82% 16% 439 Deg F
Palm oil 10% 39% 49% 51% N/A
Coconut oil 5% 9% 14% 86% N/A
Sesame oil N/A N/A N/A N/A 408 De F
Lard N/A N/A N/A N/A 348 Deg F
Butter N/A N/A N/A N/A 350 deg F
Almond oil N/A N/A N/A N/A 420 deg F
Rice bran oil N/A N/A N/A N/A 490 deg F
Grape seed N/A N/A N/A N/A 428 deg F

Smoke point is the temperature at which oil can be heated before it smokes or discolor.
Oil breaks down and create acreolen, , an obnoxious smelling compound, that maybe potentially hazardous to your health.

A word of advice: fry frozen vegetables and breaded products (sweet potato,french fries ,breaded fish ,etc) when frozen.
Avoid overcrowding the fryer or frying pan with too much food, as this will lower the oil temperature and will cause the food you are frying to absorb more fat.
I hope all the above information will help you decide which oil to use.

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