HOW TO know which oils to heat, eat or avoid

Over the years many have avoided fat be­cause they thought eat­ing fat would make them fat. Peo­ple who avoided fat of­ten got dry skin, and in­flam­ma­tion is­sues. Now we have more aware­ness on the ben­e­fits of eat­ing fat – and in fact, con­sum­ing good fats can a

Living Now - - Food - By Michèle Wolff

Good for cook­ing at high tem­per­a­tures

RICE BRAN OIL is good for cook­ing as it has a high smoke point (213°C), it has a mild flavour and is a thin oil to cook with, which some peo­ple pre­fer com­pared to co­conut oil. A com­po­nent of the oil oryzanol was shown in Ja­pan to be ef­fec­tive in re­liev­ing hot flushes and other symp­toms of menopause. Re­searchers found 90% of the women found some form of re­lief from hot flushes af­ter tak­ing rice bran oil for four to six weeks.

CO­CONUT OIL has a huge num­ber of ben­e­fits. It has been shown to help with many health prob­lems in­clud­ing thy­roid, can­dida, di­ges­tive dis­or­ders (it kills pathogens as­so­ci­ated with di­ar­rhoea), par­a­sites, weight loss, in­sulin con­trol and energy in­crease. This fat keeps you full but doesn’t con­trib­ute to weight gain. You can add a ta­ble­spoon to your por­ridge, cook with it, mix it with plain yogurt, use it as but­ter, add a ta­ble­spoon to hot wa­ter or drink it for energy. Co­conut oil con­tains lau­ric acid which boosts the im­mune sys­tem.

Good for salad dress­ings or adding at the end of cook­ing

OLIVE OIL is high in oleic acid, the most com­mon mo­noun­sat­u­rated fat, and has been as­so­ci­ated with re­duced blood pres­sure and ‘bad’ choles­terol lev­els.

AV­O­CADO OIL has the high­est smoke point out of any plant oil but still needs to be used at a low heat. Re­search shows that 1 ½ ta­ble­spoons of av­o­cado oil added to a salad in­creased nu­tri­ent up­takes. It is worth adding to food to boost the up­take of nu­tri­ents to help im­mu­nity which is es­pe­cially use­ful for in­flam­ma­tion.

POLYUN­SAT­U­RATED OILS: Omega-3 oils are es­sen­tial for the health of your body, with ben­e­fits for heart, brain, eye, joint and di­ges­tive health. How­ever, these are very un­sta­ble and should not be heated but kept in the fridge.

MACADAMIA OIL is pro­duced in high amounts in Aus­tralia. It has five times more vi­ta­min E than olive oil and a higher smoke point but best used un­cooked or at very low tem­per­a­tures. A study in a New­cas­tle re­search pro­ject re­vealed sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tions in in­flam­ma­tion and clot­ting ten­dency as­so­ci­ated with con­sum­ing macadamia oil. It also in­creases good choles­terol (HDL) and is ben­e­fi­cial for in­flam­ma­tory bowel prob­lems and stom­ach ul­cers.

APRI­COT KER­NEL OIL is cold pressed from the seeds of the apri­cot. It is great for salad dress­ings, has a nutty flavour and a high level of vi­ta­min A and E for heal­ing, which is use­ful for the bowel lin­ing. It is nu­tri­tious and used a lot in skin care.

HEMP SEED OIL can be used long term as it con­tains a healthy bal­ance of omega 3 (20%) and 6 (60%) and gamma li­noleic acid (2%). It tastes like sun­flower oil and is green. This oil also con­tains an amaz­ing 35% sol­u­ble fi­bre. Hemp seed oil needs to be re­frig­er­ated and never cooked with.

Oils to avoid

Other oils change their molec­u­lar struc­ture un­der high heat and are very harm­ful to the body. Un­for­tu­nately these oils are used in most take­away foods. Most cheap veg­etable oils have been sol­vent ex­tracted, which de­stroys valu­able an­tiox­i­dants. These in­clude soy­bean, sun­flower, corn and cot­ton­seed oils.

AVOID CANOLA OIL. Although it is very pop­u­lar, is has its is­sues. Mod­ern canola was hy­bridised to shut down heart dam­ag­ing eru­cic acid, but new stud­ies are show­ing that even the small amounts that re­main may still cause health is­sues. Canola goes ran­cid easily and dur­ing the shelf-life-ex­tend­ing de­odor­i­sa­tion process, the 12% of omega-3 con­tent in canola is trans­formed into trans-fats. n

Michèle Wolff is a lead­ing health prac­ti­tioner and a qual­i­fied natur­opath, nu­tri­tion­ist, herbal­ist and nurse. Her new book ‘Di­ges­tive So­lu­tions – 101 Proven Meth­ods to Solve Your Tummy Prob­lems Nat­u­rally’ is avail­able from book­stores and good online book­sell­ers.

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