When it comes to eating healthy, it starts with what you are cooking WITH.
With the endless choices on the store shelves it’s hard to know which to choose. Butter vs. margarine, extra virgin olive oils, refined oils like vegetable and canola.
There is evidence pointing in the direction that it isn’t animal fats causing our epidemic levels of heart disease, but vegetable oils. Research is showing that butter consumption at the turn of the century was about 18 lbs per person per year and the use of vegetable oils was non existent. Cancer and heart disease were rare. Today butter consumption is just above 4 lbs per person per year while the use of vegetable oils and refined oils has soared.
WHAT ARE REFINED OILS AND WHICH ONES SHOULD YOU AVOID?
Definition: An oil has been refined by using chemicals that are harmful to us. In short it means to ‘purify’. But the meaning of purify has many definitions. It may mean the oil was treated with acid, or purified with an alkali, or bleached. It can also be neutralized, filtered or deodorized. All of which require chemicals like Hexane!
For refining the oil, it has to pass through the heating process at about more than 200 degree and that too twice – one to extract oil and second time to remove it’s smell..!! In the process of making and refining these types of oils, it leads to PUFas (rancid polyunsaturated fatty acids) which DO NOT hold up well to high heats. In the process of being extracted from the seed these oils oxidize and turn into trans fats. The smell is so rancid that a cleaning process has to take place using bleach to deodorize it.
- Canola oil
- Vegetable oil
- Corn oils
- Margarine (or any other ‘buttery’ spread)
But most of all AVOID Hydrogenated oils (Crisco and margarine) ~ This is one of the most dangerous products on the market today! It has actually been BANNED in 2 European countries, but not ours.
Hydrogenated oil is made by forcing hydrogen gas into oil as high pressure. The more solid the oil is the more hydrogenated, such as margarine and Crisco or lard. When hydrogenated oils are made the healthy fats are converted into a new type of fat, known as trans fat. This is the one subject that you will find an overwhelming agreement from Doctors, scholars, and scientists alike. Trans fats should be avoided while healthy fats (found in olive oil, nuts and avocados) should be eaten.
Trans fats are so bad for you, the FDA estimated approximately 95% of prepared cookies, 100% of crackers and 80% of frozen breakfast products contained trans fats. Tran Fats may lead to increasing chances of Heart diseases, Diabetes or may be Cancer. Now that trans fats have to be labeled on products, most companies have removed them from their products. Sneaky, huh?
Now the question is which oil should we use???
There are pretty options for that, like Mustard oil which has low saturated fats, high mono saturated fats and rich with OMEGA 3. The other considerable option is to use Olive Oil – Extra Virgin, Ghee, coconut oil which has many health benefits.