Different Oils

Life's too short to rely on vegetable oil alone!

As we grow older, we become more conscious with our food intake. Generally, consuming too much fried food and oily food is bad and poses health risks such as cholesterol and heart disease. Like any other food, oil is to be used in moderation. Some may get intimidated to using other types of oils because we don't know their flavors or simply they are generally more expensive. Today let's discuss some oils you can incorporate with your diet aside from the usual vegetable and canola oil.

Olive Oil

olive oil
A food trade favorite, olive oil adds flavor into dishes and can be used for dressing.
This isn't a favorite for nothing- this is rich in monounsaturated fats, helping lower your risk of heart disease. It may even benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, and therefore potentially lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Good-quality olive oil contains important vitamins and nutrients and is loaded with antioxidants. Thankfully, it is more accessible to our local market and there are several affordable options available. When going to the grocery store (especially when opting for extra virgin olive oil), look for a product that's stored in darker bottles as some olive oil products tend to be manufactured with too much additives.

Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil
Relatively cheap and adds loads of flavor! This is the secret to the oriental dishes you love. Sesame oil is rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically linoleic acid, which is an omega-6. Be careful though- sesame oil burns faster so this isn't recommended for deep-frying. Make sure to use this on low heat when you like to make stir-fried dishes. You can even add a dash of this into homemade noodles or some spring roll sauce. When shopping, opt for darker sesame oil as this is a better quality compared than to light-colored variants.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil
Although it contains about 50% saturated fat, coconut oil coconut oil is high in lauric acid, too! This is also a butter substitute among vegan diets and lends a sweeter flavor to baked goods. There are tons available in the market so this is cheap and easy to find!

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is light in colour and flavour, with a mild, slightly nutty taste that works well with a variety of other flavors. Since it has a high-smoking point, this works well with frying and deep frying! Its also a good olive oil alternative when making dressing as it emulsifies well with other ingredients. The polyunsaturated fat in grapeseed oil may help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and as well contains vitamin E, which has been shown to fight inflammation.

Avocado oil

avocado oil
Avocados have been a favorite these days and if you're obsessed, well, avocado oil is just as divine too! Avocado oil is another one high in monounsaturated fats, which are linked to reducing LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and raising HDL cholesterol. Avocado oil has a high smoke point, which makes it ideal for cooking methods such as searing or browning, as well as simply using it cold. When shopping, look for cold-pressed versions as this retains the sought-after benefits of the fruit well.

Flaxseed oil

flaxseed oil
Flaxseed oil hasn't been given enough credit and its hard to understand why- Flaxseed has become more and more popular as a superfood recently, with its high fiber content and omega-3 powers, thought to be helpful in fighting heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke. Since it burns easily, using it for dressing is recommended. Make sure to store this in the fridge too as it oxidizes easily.

Generally, premium-grade oils are best when they are cold-pressed as this retains the benefits of the source of these oils. You can start shopping in different health stores as this is a good way to start your quest for quality oils. What's your favorite?

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