WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COOKING OILS:  THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
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    • 18 FEB 19
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    WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COOKING OILS:  THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

    WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COOKING OILS:  THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

    WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COOKING OILS:  THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
    5 (100%) 8 votes

    Can’t decide which cooking oil to use? What’s the difference between cooking oils health wise? Here’s the cooking oils with the best omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.

     

    By: First Health Associates

     

    Last month, our article “Don’t Let Carb Confusion Sidetrack Your New Year’s Resolution” shared the results of a study that looked at the many conflicting views on the best carb to fat ratio for weight loss.  The focus of the article was on weight loss.  But as we all know, people have lost weight consuming a diet of Twinkies and sugary, processed foods.  That doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest way to lose weight.

     

    At First Health, we strongly believe that being at an optimal weight is the best defense against a myriad of chronic diseases.  Furthermore, we believe that what you eat is equally, if not more, important for preventing chronic illness.

     

    So, What’s the Best Cooking Oil Health Wise?

     

    One of the biggest sources of confusion to people who want to eat healthy centers around cooking fats/oils.  The options abound.  But which are the healthiest cooking oils to use?  The most important consideration when choosing a fat or oil is the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.  Studies have shown that the ideal ratio to consume is 4:1 or less.  Sadly, most North American diets fall in the 15:1range.

     

    What are Omega-6s and Omega-3s?

     

    Omega-6s and omega-3s are essential fatty acids.  This means that our body cannot make them, therefore we must get them through our diet.   Most people don’t have a problem getting omega-6s, which explains the imbalance in the typical North American diet.  Omega-6 is abundant in poultry, eggs and whole grain foods.  Omega-3, on the other hand, is not as readily available in foods prevalent in the North American diet.  It is mostly found in certain cold-water fish like salmon, and in flaxseed.   An out-of-wack omega-6 to omega-3 ratio promotes systemic inflammation, which is the driving mechanism of a host of chronic diseases.

     

    Which Cooking Oils Have The Best Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio?

     

    When it comes to choosing the healthiest cooking oils, it helps to understand the different types of fat.  The four main types of fat are:  saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans.  This article from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition does a nice job of distinguishing the various types of fat.   It’s important to note that in recent years the controversy over all saturated fats being bad for us has been challenged.  Ghee for example, is a saturated fat that has been found to offer numerous health benefits with an impressive omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2:1.

     

    In summary, it’s wise to choose your cooking oil based on the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s.   Here are the ratios for some of the most common cooking oils:

    WORST COOKING OILS

    OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3 RATIO (or other comment)

    Grapeseed 676:1
    Sesame (unrefined) 138:1
    Safflower (unrefined) 133:1
    Corn (unrefined) 83:1
    Sunflower (unrefined) 40:1
    Peanut (unrefined) 32:1
    Canola (refined) 3:1 (but most canola oil is GMO*; to be safe buy non-GMO certified or organic)
    Soy (semi-refined) 8:1 (but most soy oil is GMO*; to be safe buy non-GMO certified or organic)
       

    BEST COOKING OILS

    OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3 RATIO (or other comment)

    Flaxseed 1:4 (excellent source of omega-3 but has low smoke point so not recommended for cooking/heating)
    Ghee (clarified butter) 2:1
    Macadamia 3:1
    Walnut 5:1
    Avocado 12:1 (predominantly a monounsaturated omega-9 fat)
    Olive (high-quality extra virgin) 13:1 (predominantly a monounsaturated omega-9 fat)
    Source: https://jonbarron.org/diet-and-nutrition/healthiest-cooking-oil-chart-smoke-points

    *GMO – Genetically Modified Organism. Genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans.

    BUYING TIPS

    Furthermore, follow these tips when buying oils:

    • Organic
    • Small, glass bottles
    • Cold-pressed, unrefined

     

    Finally, avoid highly processed oils, trans and hydrogenated fats which can negatively impact your health.   With a little diligence, you will be able to stock your kitchen with the healthiest cooking oils for all your cooking needs!

     

    Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove and Des Plaines.  First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers:  Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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