Cooking oils are essential for many of your favorite recipes, and many of them supply necessary nutrients and healthy fats you need to be healthy. However, not all oils are created the same. Here is a closer look at the oils to add to your recipes and the oils you should leave on the supermarket shelf.
If you are a label reader, seeing the calorie, fat and calories from fat content on cooking oil labels likely with give you pause. Remember, your diet needs some healthy fat in it!
Oils to Try:
Coconut Oil This is emerging as cooking oil’s new superstar, and for very good reason. Coconut oil is shown to help reduce stress, control cholesterol and blood pressure levels, help with weight loss and control of Type 2 diabetes, has immune properties, protects against heart disease and aids digestion! It’s also a great vegan friendly choice.
Rice Bran Oil This choice has many health benefits because it doesn’t need to be hydrogenated and it has beneficial fatty acids. It cooks well at high temperatures and is made from non-genetically engineered rice bran. Its eco-cred is equally good, since it can be produced from the brown layer of rice in rice bran and doesn’t need to be refined with chemicals.
Pay Attention to the Labels:
Canola Oil This oil is very common, so it must be okay, right? Not exactly. Many brands of Canola are genetically modified (GMO). If you do purchase Canola Oil, your best bet is to look for ones that specifically say on the label non-GMO or USDA Certified organic, since it is a great source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid.
Corn Oil Another commonly genetically modified culprit. You’ll definitely want to choose corn oils that are certified organic to be certain your product is non-GMO.
Good For You, Bad for the Environment:
Olive Oil Surprised? This is by far one of the most popular oils, which is also why it is creating an environmental burden in the areas where it is produced. Spain’s production of olive oil is wreaking havoc on the land. Even though organic olive oil is typically more expensive, the environmental costs of non-organic olive oil are far greater. It’s packed full of antioxidants, so as long as you read the label carefully to make sure it’s certified organic, you should feel good about cooking with olive oil.