Calorie-dense oils are a controversial (and sometimes confusing) topic amongst those new to natural health. Without knowing which oils to keep in your pantry and the ones to trash, it's easy to think that all of them aren't any good.
Although the 1990s and early 2000s are long gone, some still believe that eating fats creates "excess fat" on the body. In truth, this is a myth. Here are the oils that you need to include in your diet and why.
The oils to keep in your pantry
If you could only use two oils for the rest of your life, choose olive oil and coconut oil. There are a bunch of other options on the market, but these are the most prevalent healthy oils.
They're widely available even if you don't shop in a health food store. When shopping for oils, purchase monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat high in omega 3. Unfortunately, not all healthy oils are created equally; there are many companies out there cutting corners.
To be clear: Make sure you buy organic products and do your research.
There's a reason why the carbohydrate and fat-dense Mediterranean diet is incredibly for you - they include a diverse range of naturally sourced foods, including high-quality oils. Olive oil is scientifically proven to help reduce the risk of a cardiovascular incident.
In a world where cardiovascular-related disease is the number one cause of death worldwide, you should be worried about the quality of fats that you put in your body. For example, did you know that olive oil can help to improve your bone, skin, and brain health?
Unfortunately, some oils contain sulfates, pesticides, and other toxic contaminants. Do your research and read labels before you buy.
Coconut oil is a powerful fat that supports a healthy body composition, boosts your energy, and improves your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Many mistakenly believe that coconut oil is, in fact, bad for you, but this is another common myth.
Although it is a saturated fat, it's actually a medium-chain triglyceride. This means that the molecular structure is much shorter than other saturated fats - which are much longer chains, making them easier to break down within the body.
Its molecular structure creates a thermogenic effect within the body, which heats you burning more calories and increasing your satiety. Again, make sure you only buy organic to avoid any unwanted toxic contaminants in your food.
Other healthy oils include:
- Avocado oil
- Macadamia oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Grapeseed oil
The oils to throw in the trash
Commercial vegetable oils and partially hydrogenated oils are the worst offenders. These oils typically have more omega 6 compared to olive and coconut oil which are higher in omega 3.
When you sit down to a meal at a restaurant, you have no idea how the chef is cooking your delicious meal. In most cases, they'll be using commercial vegetable oils.
These oils are proven to have between 0.56% to 4.2% trans fat content within them. You must avoid trans fats at all costs.
They're proven to cause chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Always check the label when you're buying oils, if it's partially hydrogenated, it'll likely contain trans fats. Hydrogenation is used to change the composition of the oil to make it more convenient for you to use.
But that convenience could cost you your life.
Often, the cheapest oils on the shelf are the worst for you. They're usually produced by companies cutting corners by adding toxic contaminants in order to mass-produce and profit from products that are proven to cause chronic illness. Always check the label and skip any that are highly processed and stick to your organic sources with no added ingredients.
Another great way to increase your omega 3's is through fatty acid supplementation or by eating organic (sprouted) nuts and seeds. But, when it comes to eating nuts and seeds ... just don't overdo it.
This is an excellent way to ensure you are getting the fats you need in your diet for a healthy life.