We often talk about “good” fats, and how including them in a balanced weight loss diet can actually benefit our health. So based on the facts, you might decide to stock only one particular healthy oil, such as extra virgin olive oil or an oil made from nuts or seeds. These are the perfect choices for salad dressings and dips, but they’re actually not ideal for cooking.
When you heat these oils, their healthy antioxidants can be destroyed. Plus, once heated above a certain temperature, much of the delicious flavor of these oils is lost anyway.
What you need is an oil that has a high smoke point, so that their flavor and nutrients aren’t destroyed by cooking. But you also want to choose an oil that is low in polyunsaturated fats, because when heated to high temperatures these fats create compounds called 4-hydroxy-trans-2-noneral (HNEs for short). HNEs are invisible, and you can’t taste them, but they can cause cell damage and inflammation in the body. They might also contribute to your risk of developing cancer and other diseases.
That all sounds simple enough, right? Well, not to throw a monkey wrench into your grocery shopping plans, but most of the oils with a high smoke point also happen to be the ones that contain a lot of polyunsaturated fats! We’re talking about peanut oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.
Luckily, you still have a few options for healthier oils, that can be heated to a high temperature but are still fairly low in polyunsaturate fats. Look for filtered or “light” olive oil, palm oil, refined coconut oil, and clarified butter (ghee). And of course, use these oils sparingly. Even if you’re using healthier oils, they do still pack quite a few calories.
As always, contact us for more expert nutritional advice. We can help you craft a weight loss plan that will work for you, and identify foods that help you stay healthy and fight age-related diseases.