Cooking Oils are important on our overall health

Why cooking oils matter more than any other ingredient

Sep 27, 2021

I remember when I was a little girl and when I helped my mom in the kitchen, we always used vegetable oil. And even as a young mom, whatever oil the recipe called for is the one I would use without question. 

Going through this learning curve of healthier eating, I have learned the importance of cooking oils and realized just how much we use them and how they are in almost every single boxed or packaged food on the shelves today. 

Oils can be harmful or they can have health benefits. There are oils that increase chronic inflammation, are laden with pesticides, and contain a lot of foreign chemicals that our bodies are not designed to recognize, let alone process correctly.

Facts about Refined oils

  • Go through 9-11 steps in a factory before they end up in a clear plastic bottle on the grocery store shelves. 
  • Expelled with chemicals (meaning to extract the oil from the plant, they use a chemical to do so).
  • They are usually in clear plastic bottles with no expiration date
  • Are most of the time bleached and also deodorized (again with the chemicals)

 Examples of refined oils (the bad guys):

  • Vegetable Oil. Vegetables do not have oil, therefore there are no vegetables in vegetable oil. Oftentimes, vegetable oil is GMO soybean oil or highly processed cottonseed oil. Since cotton isn't grown as a food crop, it has massive amounts of pesticides on it.
  • Palm Oil. Palm oil is a refined oil (often a vegetable oil) and contains 34% saturated fat. Palm oil is banned in the UK but is in a LOT of the US packaged foods today (examples: canned nuts, nut butters, and salad dressings) and has a negative impact on our environment
  • Canola Oil. Is refined and contains transfats
  • Soybean Oil. Soy in general is a highly genetically modified crop. Soybean oil is high in omega 6's
  • Crisco. All I am going to say about this is Crisco was first created by P&G fo candles.

Refined oils are in so many packaged foods today because they are inexpensive and tasteless. Make sure you read your ingredient list on all the packaged foods you buy; especially anything in the "sauce" aisle (marinades, dressings, marinara, nut butters, BBQ sauce, etc)

Examples of Healthy Oils:

  • Avocado Oil. High in Omega 3's. Has a high smoke point so great for sauteeing and cooking and it's virtually tasteless
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It contains high amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a low smoke point so don't cook with it too often
  • Coconut Oil. Contains healthy fats, is great for baking, and helps lower inflammation

In one of my virtual cooking classes, I had a student ask me if "unrefined sunflower oil" was ok. My answer was "unrefined is definitely better than refined, but it's still an overly processed cooking oil. Why not avoid them altogether and stick with the healthy oils that have health benefits?

It's in the small things that make the biggest difference in our health. I want you to enjoy the moments with family and friends during holidays and special occasions. But what I encourage you to focus on is your food choices at 10 AM snack time on a Tuesday and what you're feeding your family for dinner on a normal Monday night. 

Oils are a simple step toward taking control of your health through food. 

Keep taking those small steps. They will improve your future health in ways you can't even imagine. 



PS. Here's one of my recipes using a wonderful and healthy oil!

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