All About Oils

So you’ve heard that oils is bad for you. Or maybe you’ve heard that it’s good for you. Well the truth is, that there are a variety of different kinds of oil and some of them are actually nutrients while some are toxins.
Why Are Oils So Good?

Though excess consumption of animal fat and cholesterol can lead to heart disease and host of other problems, some fat is necessary in our daily recommendation. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that most fats come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated sources such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. At the same time, these guidelines recommend keeping you total fat intake under 30% of your daily calories.
Since vitamins A,D,E,K, & carotenoids are fat soluble, fat is necessary in the absorption of these vitamins. Vegetable oils are great sources for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are also a good sources of vitamin E. Since Flax, walnut, 7 soy oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids, they protect the body from heart disease and some types of cancer.
Types of Oils

Fats can be classified as saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Saturation in this case refers to the hydrogen-carbon makeup of the oil. There is a great degree of solidity when there is more hydrogen present.
Nutritionists recommend having an equal intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, while minimizing the intake of saturated fats. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and include such oils as butter, lard, and coconut oil. Polyunsaturated fats are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. These oils are never solid at room temperature and include such oils as safflower. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil, & high oleic oils. These are generally liquid at room temperature and sometimes solid in the refrigerator. These oils protect the heart from heart disease by raising the levels of good cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats lower levels of bad cholesterol, but also low the levels of good cholesterol.
Processing Methods

Expeller Pressing- Uses mechanical pressure as opposed to chemical heat. Using friction, temperatures up to 185 degrees can be generated.
Cold pressing – a term used to describe expeller pressing up to 120 degrees. Most commonly used for olive oils
Vacuum – a vacuum expeller extracts oils in a non-oxygen and light free environment at temperatures around 70 degrees.
Solvent – oils are extracted chemically, destroying the nutritional value.
Hydrogenation – this process transforms liquid oil into a solid or partially solid form. This process uses heavy metals, hydrogen gas, & extremely high temperatures. Hydrogenation destroys nutrients and creates tran-fatty acids. These trans-fatty acids have been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease.
Varieties of Oil

Some of the best oils used for cooking include avocado, coconut, corn, grape seed, palm kernel, palm fruit, peanut, olive, safflower, sesame, soybean, sunflower, walnut, & wheat germ. For supplementing and use on your body the best oils are apricot, almond, borage, cod liver, evening primrose, flax seed, fish, hemp, & wheat germ.
Many oils are sensitive to heat and light so storing in a cool dark place is ideal.

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