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5 Things you MUST know when selecting Cooking Oils

Healthy Cooking Oils

By Angela Greely

Angela: There is a minefield of conflicting information about cooking oils out there and which are the best ones to use. It’s an important one to get right because oils are in EVERYTHING from dips to crackers. Do your own research as it will be time well spent on your health.

I think this guide from “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo is awesome and covers what you need to know well. Here it is: Guide to Cooking Fats.

For those of you not interested in the technical stuff skip to the conclusion. :)

The 5 things you need to take into account:

  • Smoke Point- Not all oils can be used for all types of cooking. They all have a smoke point, which they should not be used past. This is when the oil starts burning and releases smoke. When this happens it means that the molecule has broken down and has become damaged. The smoke point is a secondary factor depending on the fatty acid profile.
  • What types of fatty acids are there?- Saturated which are very stable like Coconut oil, Monounsaturated which are moderately stable like olive oil, Polyunsaturated which are very unstable like soy bean oil. Oils and fat have different ratios of the different types of fats. Saturated fats are very stable as they have no free bonds and are solid at room temperature. Monounsaturated fats have 1 free bond that can react with oxygen making them moderately unstable. Lastly there are polyunsaturated fats, which are very unstable as they have many free bonds that can react with oxygen. Even at room temperature the polyunsaturated fats can be problematic.
  • Omega 3/Omega 6 Balance- Omega 3 and Omega 6 are polyunsaturated fats. The body needs a balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats equally. Currently we are eating 20 more times omega 6 fats as omega 3 fats. Omega 6 fats are dominant because about ALL processed foods are made using omega 6 oils. This imbalance causes inflammation in our bodies. Increased inflammation can lead to many chronic health conditions. To get the balance right think about all the packaged and take-away foods you buy that might contain oils: salad dressings, dips, crackers, cooked whole chickens, crisps, chips, baked goods. Most manufactures and restaurants will use the cheapest oils, which are the polyunsaturated high in Omega 6 oils. Omega 6 is high in corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed oil and omega 3 is high in salmon, halibut, sardines, albacore, walnuts, flaxseeds. To get the balance right reduce your packaged foods and make more things at home using good quality oils and eat more fish. I won’t recommend cooking with omega 3 oils, as they can also turn unstable when cooking.
  • The way in which they are manufactured - I would avoid all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. We talked about hydrogenation in our butter post here. They are canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and rice bran oil.
  • The commercial grade of the oil –    We posted a useful image on Facebook recently on how to choose your coconut oil. It explains that there is no difference between Extra Virgin and Virgin Coconut oil; it’s just a marketing term and the different commercial grades available. There are also different grades of Olive Oils too for example. Extra Virgin and Virgin don’t undergo any chemical refining the oil is extracted and bottled. Refined Olive Oil production involves solvents and high temperatures. Most people’s concerns about using Virgin or Extra Virgin oils for cooking is that they are too unstable but I don’t agree. The smoke point of Extra Virgin and Virgin Olive oil is approximately 190 °C /375 °F. So I have no problem baking up to 170°C or light frying with Extra Virgin or Virgin Olive oil. However I would never use them for high frying temperatures or wok-frying as they are a monounsaturated fat and are moderately unstable. Remember always look at the smoke point and at their fatty acid profile.

CONCLUSION

WE LOVE…Virgin Coconut Oil

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

  • High in stable saturated fats
  • Helps you loose weight – high in medium chain fatty acids, which are used for energy not stored as fat
  • It’s anti-viral and anti-fungal
  • It’s anti-inflammatory
  • Smoke point of 177 °C – can be used for pan frying/baking/adding to homemade protein balls. Try our yummy recipe click here (great one to curb cravings)

At home I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for baking and adding to salads and dips, Virgin Coconut Oil for stir-fries, pan-frying and in my protein balls. Love adding butter for flavour if I’m pan-frying a steak or mushrooms – Yummy! I never deep fry but if I was to I would use refined coconut oil.

What do you guys do?

Free Health Pack

Protein bars for women

180 Nutrition High Protein Bar

The high street offers so many protein bars for women it’s very hard to tell which is the best protein bar for you. With clever marketing and deceptive packaging you could be getting more than you bargained for. So how can you tell if your favourite protein bar is sabotaging your health and fitness plan? The answer lies in the quality of the ingredients where sugar free, low fat and low calorie protein bars are not always the best option.

Protein

The key ingredient in any protein bar will be exactly that, protein. Protein helps to keep your metabolism burning and also staves off hunger as it is digested more slowly than other nutrients. Look for a high quality source of protein like Whey Protein Isolate where most of the lactose has been removed.

Carbohydrates

Carbs are important and provide you with energy which is essential especially after a workout. Carbs also play a role in our insulin secretion, which helps our muscles rebuild themselves. Be wary of low carbohydrate protein bars for women as they are usually chemical based and can lead to digestive issues.

Fat

A little fat from raw and natural sources like nuts and seeds is invaluable. They help enhance the flavour while keeping you feeling nice and full. They also offer the benefits of heart healthy Omega 3 fats as a bonus.

Fibre

Most of us do not get enough fibre which is essential for a healthy digestive system. A diet high in fibre will also assist in the absorption of nutrients in our body which is an essential factor for a healthy lifestyle.

At 180 Nutrition we believe that natural ingredients are the key to good health. Our raw and natural ingredients are crushed and ground and make a great natural protein bar for women. So whether you are looking to lose weight, tone your body or are searching for  a convenient healthy meal replacement, try our all natural protein bar today.

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Increase your omega 3 with flaxseed

Your body can’t make them, so the only way to get omega-3 fats is to eat them. Here’s why they are so important, and how to make sure you are getting enough.

Omega 3s, as they’re known for short, are “good” polyunsaturated fats. They are important for growth and brain function as well as heart health because they help lower triglycerides and total cholesterol. A diet full of omega 3s also has been linked to improved immunity and a reduced risk of high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

There are three types of omega-3 fats. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are most commonly found in cold-water fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is the omega-3 fat found in plants like flaxseed.

Good sources of EPA and DHA are cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines (salmon and sardines are typically low in mercury as well). ALA is found in canola oil, soy products such as soybean oil and tofu, flaxseeds, walnuts and in some leafy green veggies (for example, kale).

Omega-3 supplements are also an option; they are made from fish oil, flaxseed or marine algae oil. When considering a supplement, remember these guidelines: Take with food to avoid a fishy aftertaste or digestive problems, avoid mega-doses unless prescribed by a doctor and remember that supplements will not provide you with the other nutrients found in omega-3-rich foods.

Eat a diet rich in all three types of omega-3 fats. Experiment with healthy salmon recipes and try to get two servings of omega 3-rich fish per week. An example of a serving would be 6 ounces raw or 4 to 5 ounces of canned or cooked salmon. To get some ALA, cook with canola oil, top oatmeal with ground flaxseed, add tofu to stir-fries or sprinkle walnuts on yogurt or salads.

Increase your daily omega 3 intake with 180 natural protein superfood.

Read full article here.