One of the products that are most used when cooking is oil. Although there are many varieties and presentations, in general it is used as an addition to those recipes that require some fat to cook.
It is common that consumers do not know what options to choose so as not to harm their health. Although it is easy to think that they are healthy because they are “plant-based”, there are actually some alternatives that are discouraged due to their high concentration of saturated fat.
And is that, although some contain good and bad fats, others have a chemical composition that can be harmful when they are added excessively in the main meals of the diet.
For this reason, before incorporating them habitually in the diet, the ideal thing is to learn to differentiate the “healthy” from the “harmful”.
How to recognize healthy oils?
The properties of commercially available oils have been ignored for many years . People often buy any variety, as they think they serve the same purpose: frying or preparing meals with ease.
The truth of all is that each version has different qualities, depending on its origin and the process to which it was subjected by the industry. While some retain their properties, others suffer alterations that can affect health.
- More than 70% of vegetable oils concentrate large amounts of saturated fats, considered harmful to cardiovascular health and body weight.
- Therefore, the ideal is to choose the sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which provide some benefits to the body and have a less negative impact.
The way to recognize them is quite simple: just read their nutritional information to determine how much harmful fats they have or if they contribute any of the fatty acids recommended for the diet.
Olive oil, the best option
The star product of the Mediterranean diet has managed to position itself as one of the best oils for cooking. Contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that, once assimilated, help improve health.
Its consumption is related to the regulation of cholesterol and the protection of the cardiovascular system. In addition, it is attributed anti-inflammatory and digestive properties that prevent and fight some diseases.
- It contains oleic acid, also known as omega 9, which does not interfere with the assimilation of omega 3 as omega 6 does.
- Its extra virgin presentation provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidant substances that minimize the negative impact of free radicals.
Refined presentations are not recommended, since this process reduces its nutritional quality. However, it is worth mentioning that many of the pure options are too expensive compared to other oils.
Another relevant aspect regarding its role in nutrition is the manipulation that is given to it. In this sense, the ideal is to consume it raw, or in preparations with medium temperature.
Other healthy oils you can consume
There are other types of oils that can be useful for cooking. Some recipes do not go well with the taste of olive oil and, therefore, it is preferable to use other alternatives. The most prominent options are:
- Canola or rapeseed.
What are the oils to avoid in your kitchen?
Harmful oils have several things in common that unfortunately appeal to many consumers. First of all, its price is quite cheap when compared to any of the healthy oils mentioned.
On the other hand, they are very easy to handle, they tend to leave a pleasant taste in food and seem harmless. These include fatty products with hydrogenated lipids such as margarines.
These varieties are composed mostly of saturated fatty acids and, as if that were not enough, when subjected to high temperatures its molecular structure is modified.
The oils that should be avoided are:
- Palm oil.
- Soy oil.
- Vegetable margarines.
- Corn oil.
- Cow butter.
Have you noticed the quality of oil you consume in your kitchen? Do you use harmful oils to cook? Careful! Although at first they seem to cause no effects on the body, over time they can influence some health problems.
Choose a healthy oil and, if possible, use it sparingly, opting to use alternative cooking methods for your food.