Dietary Oils: the Good, the Bad, and the OK
Dietary oils provide your body with fats that are important for good health. They also provide energy for your body.
However, not all oils have the same benefits…even among the oils considered to be good or healthy. And some oils that were previously thought to be healthy have been called into question as more research becomes available.
Keep reading to learn more about what makes some oils healthy, other oils unhealthy, and still others somewhat healthy (but perhaps less healthy than previously thought).
The Good Oils
Healthy oils typically contain monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats provide several benefits to your health including lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, a lower risk for heart disease, reduced inflammation, and improved brain health.
These fats also contain antioxidants that can prevent cell damage and reduce the risk for developing some illnesses.
The list of healthy oils includes:
- Olive Oil Ever since the Mediterranean Diet became famous olive oil has been celebrated for its health benefits.Olive oil is rich in heart-healthy monosaturated fatty acids. This explains why a recent study revealed that people who consume more than 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil each day have a 20% lower incidence of cardiovascular death.
Surprisingly, the grade of olive oil doesn’t seem to relate to how healthy it is. Regular grade olive oil provides all the health benefits that extra virgin olive oil does…it just may not taste quite as good.
- Avocado Oil This is a new arrival on the healthy oil scene, but avocado oil is gaining in popularity.Like avocados themselves, avocado oil is full of monosaturated fatty acids. It also has a high concentration of oleic acid, which supports increased HDL or “good” cholesterol in your blood.
The OK Oils
The following oils have some health benefits, but not to the same extent as the oils listed above. They include:
- Fish Oil Many studies correlate a diet rich in fatty fish (such as salmon and sardines) with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In particular, these fish contain high concentrations of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.Apart from the Omega-3s obtained from fish, the best health benefits seem to be associated with taking more purified versions of Omega-3 fatty acid supplements such as EPA or DHA. Krill oil has also been shown to provide significant cardiovascular benefits.
- Coconut Oil Coconut oil is full of medium chain triglycerides, which are easily metabolized for energy.
The Bad Oils
Unhealthy oils include:
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Palm oil
These are the oils you may generically refer to as “cooking oil”, and they are rich in saturated fats and trans fats.
These oils are also typically more highly processed, which reduces the level of healthy fats they would otherwise contain. The heat and chemicals used during processing can also create unhealthy byproducts.
Partially hydrogenated oils rank as the least healthy of dietary oils.
How to Use Oils the Healthy Way
To get the maximum benefits from healthy oils, here are some simple suggestions:
- Use olive oil and avocado oil for everyday cooking and as a salad dressing.
- Avoid exposing olive oil and avocado oil to high temperatures. This breaks down the healthy fats they contain, thereby reducing the health benefits. Instead, use coconut oil when cooking at higher temperatures.
- If you don’t like fish, try taking supplements that contain EPA or DHA, as opposed to regular fish oil. Krill oil may also be a better option.
- It’s okay to use small amounts of the “bad” oils occasionally…just limit their use.
Renew Youth is here to help you choose the right oils and supplements for maintaining a healthy diet, in addition to making sure your hormones remain optimally balanced.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation with Renew Youth by calling 800-859-7511 or use our contact form.