The oil we use in cooking is actually the basic ingredient in everything we cook. We add oil to vegetables and meat before we put them in the pan, we use oil to moisten the baked goods we make at home, and we add oil to salads.
Cooking oil adds to the taste and texture of food, while also helping to enhance or counteract the nutritional benefits of the food. The heart-friendly cooking oils you can find on grocery store shelves are generally considered anti-inflammatory. Regular consumption of these oils has been scientifically linked to preventing chronic inflammation, which can lead to chronic diseases, cognitive decline and other health problems.
However, not all fats are beneficial in terms of their nutritional value. On the contrary, some fats contribute to inflammation in the body. You can read why not all fats are the same in this article. You can also check the list of anti-inflammatory oils to find out which oils are beneficial.
Why Do Some Fats Cause Inflammation?
The reason why some cooking oils cause inflammation is because they are rich in saturated fats. Diets high in saturated fats can increase bad (LDL) cholesterol, which can lead to an increased risk of heart attack. It is normally recommended to keep the proportion of saturated fats in the diet below 5 percent.
Saturated fats are mainly found in meat products, but some cooking oils are also high in saturated fats. Coconut and palm oil are high in saturated fats. Although coconut oil is touted as healthy, it is high in saturated fats and should be avoided. You can still use coconut oil in moderation in your skin and hair care routines or in the kitchen. Although this oil can add a nice flavor to some dishes, it is not heart-healthy to do so.
Palm oil is mostly found in processed foods. In addition to the high saturated fats in palm oil, forests are damaged to obtain this oil. For these two reasons, you may want to consider avoiding palm oil.
In short, you need to use coconut and palm oil in moderation. So which oils can you use for cooking? You can find the answer in the list below.
1. Olive oil
Olive oil ranks first among edible oils in Mediterranean countries. This oil is rich in omega-3 acids, which are beneficial for heart health. In addition to being rich in healthy fatty acids, olive oil is a good source of antioxidants. For this reason, it has been linked to reducing inflammation in many scientific studies. Olive oil has a high smoke point, making it an excellent oil to use on a daily basis.
2. Avocado oil
You already know how rich in nutrients avocados are. Many of the nutrients in this fruit are also found in avocado oil. Just like olive oil, avocado oil is rich in unsaturated fats and is associated with reducing inflammation.
3. Walnut oil
Scientific research shows that regular consumption of walnut oil helps reduce inflammation and keeps blood sugar levels stable. The fact that this oil is rich in nutrients is not surprising when we consider the benefits of walnuts, especially for heart health.
4. Flaxseed oil
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil, fibers and flax lignans are thought to be beneficial for cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis and the reduction of autoimmune and neurological diseases.
5. Pumpkin seed oil
According to scientific research, pumpkin seed oil is associated with reducing inflammation because it is rich in unsaturated fats and antioxidants. It is also associated with helping to prevent type 2 diabetes, hypertension and some types of cancer.
6. Sunflower oil
Sunflower oil is rich in vitamin E. One tablespoon of oil contains 28 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E. Sunflower oil has a high smoke point and no pungent taste. However, this oil contains a lot of omega-6 fats. If you consume too much omega-6 fatty acids, it can cause inflammation in the body. Therefore, you should pay attention to balancing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and consume sunflower oil in reasonable amounts.
7. Peanut oil
Peanut oil is rich in monounsaturated fats. You can feel the taste and smell of peanuts in this oil, which has an aromatic taste. This oil, which is useful at high temperatures, is resistant to high temperatures.
8. Sesame oil
Sesame oil usually has a pungent aroma. Rich in single and multiple fatty acids, this oil contains no other important nutrients. Sesame oil with a high smoke point can be used at high temperatures.
9. Safflower oil
The smoke point of safflower oil is approximately 265°C. Safflower oil is obtained from the safflower plant from the daisy family. Safflower oil is low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fatty acids. There is research showing that safflower oil can reduce inflammation, control blood sugar and may be beneficial in obesity and type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women. This oil has a neutral taste and can be used in sauces and frying.
10. Canola oil
Canola oil is obtained from rapeseed, a flowering plant, and contains monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. This oil has a high smoke point and can be used in high temperature cooking. However, you may want to opt for cold-pressed oils, as the nutritional value decreases when this oil is processed too much.
Cooking with anti-inflammatory oils is an excellent way to enjoy the health benefits of food. However, because these oils have different flavors, they give different results in different dishes. So experiment to find the oils that you like the taste of. When you choose a good oil, your food will taste delicious and your body will benefit.
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