- Dr Fuhrman
- Vegan DHA
- iHerb (Great for ordering supplements, even if you're not in the US. Get $10 off your first order of $40 or more, or $5 off smaller orders, if you use coupon code GUH019)
The cooking oil issue
When I wrote earlier this week about the dangers of saturated fat, I said that one of the arguments of people that say saturated fat is good for you is that polyunsaturated oils are really bad for you, and that I agree with that statement. That raises the question: what cooking oil should you use? In the coming series I will discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of various cooking oils.
Should you use oil at all?
Oil is a refined food. It is rubbed from most of its original nutrients and protection against rancidity. It is not something that is good for you, and you should use it in limited amounts. It is perfectly possible to cook without oil, and it is perfectly possible to get all your essential fatty acids from whole foods, like nuts, seeds, avocado's and greens. That said, populations from all over the world have used oils for ages. Some food does taste much better with even a little oil. I do not think that oil in small amounts is harmful if you are not overweight or suffering from a serious disease and if you are using the right oils, the right way.
Different kinds of oils
There are three kinds of oils: saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated. Saturated oils are solid at room temperature, mono-unsaturated oils are fluid at room temperature, but solid in the refrigerator, poly-unsaturated oils are fluid at room temperature and in the refrigerator. That sounds easy enough, but all oils contain a mixture of saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. Below you will find a table with the saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acid contents of various oils, as well as their vitamin E content.
Next week, I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the most popular cooking oils. I will also discuss how to use and store oils.
Fatty acid composition of various oils.
This table is sorted by mono-unsaturated fatty acid content. To sort on another header, just click that header
|Sunflower oil (oleic)||10||84||4||41|
|Safflower oil (oleic)||6||75||14||34|
|Apricot kernel oil||6||60||29||4|
|Cod liver oil||23||47||23|
|Beef tallow fat||50||42||4||3|
|Rice bran oil||20||39||35||32|
|Wheat germ oil||19||15||62||149|
|Palm kernel oil||82||11||2||4|
At first I planned to only list the most popular oils, like olive, safflower and canola, but I was fascinated by all the different oils. I had never heard of Babassu oil and wondered how anybody had ever thought of making oil from tomato seeds, so I decided to let them in.
September 15, 2006