We all need fat in our diet. For a start it keeps us warm, adds flavour to our food and most importantly it carries essential vitamins like A, D, E and K. Oils contain essential fatty acids omega 3 & 6 which cannot by produced by the body and are vital for heart, brain, skin and health function. Good fats are essential for optimum brain, eyes and digestive function, energy levels as well as hormone production and vitamin absorption.
There are four main types of fat :
Monounsaturated Fats Olive oil, sesame oil, avocado oil
Polyunsaturated Fats Fish oil, flax oil and walnut oil
Saturated Fats Coconut Oil
All of the above fats can help promote health and well being.
Trans Fats margarine , also found in biscuits ,chocolates, these fats have been hydrogenated and have been linked to obesity and heart disease.
Look for phrases like cold-pressed, raw or virgin which describe oils that are minimally processed and therefore retain their natural flavour and colour.
The Best Oils to Choose
If you want to get the maximum health benefits from your oils you need to know the right oil for each use. Some oils like extra virgin olive oil are best used raw on salads or drizzled over food. Whereas coconut oil and ghee (clarified butter) are more suited to cooking at higher temperatures.
Keep your oils tightly sealed in a cool, dark place as light, air and heat are a no no for oils! Flavourful oils that don’t get used quickly like avocado, hazelnut, flax and hemp are best kept in the fridge.
We all know how important omega 3s are from health benefits to brain development, concentration vision and bone health. It is so important to include oily fish in your diet to ensure you are getting in those all important omega 3s. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring. Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed (ground), oils (canola, flaxseed, soybean), and nuts and other seeds (walnuts, butternuts and sunflower).
Top 5 Oils
Avocado loaded with heart – healthy monounsaturated fats. It has a high smoke point making it suitable for cooking at high temperatures.
Coconut contains lauric acid which is said to have both anti – bacterial and anti – viral properties while also supporting healthy cholesterol levels. It is perfect for stir frying and for use in baking and raw treats.
Ghee also known as clarified butter, stable at high temperatures meaning it is great for high heat cooking. It is rich in the fat – soluble vitamins A, D, and K2 plus CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).
Olive protects against heart disease by keeping the ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol. Olive oil contains more monounsaturated fatty acids than any other natural oil. Use it on salads or drizzle over steamed vegetables.
Peanut (groundnut) contains heart – healthy phytosterols, essential plant fats thought to lower cholesterol. The high smoke point makes it a good choice for cooking over high heat, for example stir frying.
So with all that in mind lets get some of those healthy oils into our diets and don’t fear fat.
Remember your body needs some fat — the healthy fats — to function normally. If you try to avoid all fat, you risk getting insufficient amounts of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.
Also, in attempting to remove fat from your diet, you may end up eating too many of the dreaded processed low-fat or fat-free foods rather than healthier and naturally lower fat foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Instead of doing away with fat in your diet, enjoy healthy fats in moderation.
I hope you find this post useful, please don’t just read it, take action!