Health & Body

Different oils and their various uses

2018-04-12 12:01:24
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Refined oils are more stable and have higher smoke points, making it suitable for high temperature cooking such as deep-frying compared to unrefined oil (e.g. extra virgin oils etc). Smoke point is the point/temperature when the oil starts to break down. Smoke point vary from one oil to another, depending on several factors such as quality of the oil and the impurities that might present in it. The longer an oil is heated, the lower the smoke point will be, thus reuse cooking oil is generally not a good idea.

1.Coconut oil

Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of matured coconuts. It has low smoke point; thus, it is not a great choice for high temperature cooking such as deep frying. It is ideal for baking and certain sautéed dishes due to its natural sweetness. Research shows that coconut oil is a good source of lauric acid, which can introduce significant effect on your HDL or good cholesterol level.

2.Vegetable oil

A stable, refined, plant-based oil which makes it suitable for deep-frying and high temperature cooking. In some circumstance, it is difficult to identify the source of the oil, but either way make it a practice to read the nutrition label to determine the amount of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated oils. Consider some other choice if the saturated fat content is more than 20grams per 100grams.

3.Olive oil

Olive oil is suitable for shallow and deep-frying due to its relatively high smoke point. Besides, its natural flavour makes olive oil suitable for use in cakes. Olive oil has high level of monounsaturated fat, thus putting it into category of generally healthy dietary fat, but with the process of bleaching and deodorizing of the oil to make it stable, it strips off most of its natural colour, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant.

4.Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

EVOO, unlike the ‘pure’ or ‘light’ olive oil, is produced by pressing the olives followed by centrifugal force to separate the oil from the water. It is best to consume the EVOO within 12 months of harvest, and once the bottle is opened, up to six weeks. EVOO is rich in natural antioxidant and vitamin (A, D, E, K), making it one of the healthiest oils to eat. Some of the ideas on how to use EVOO are by eating it with bread, as salad dressings, and drizzling over dishes.

5.Canola oil

Apart from being used commercially as cooking oil, it has become one of the preferred oil to be used in salad dressing, margarine, shortening, baking, spreads, and creamers. Canola oil has a relatively high smoke point, but that doesn’t change the fact that it will become unstable upon heating, so it is best to never reuse the oil. Being a fat, canola oil is high in calories, but the calorie comes from better fat. Canola oil is especially high in monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and low in saturated fatty acid. Research shows that MUFA plays a role to help lowering LDL (‘bad cholesterol’) and increase HDL (‘good cholesterol) in blood.