Fat has a crucial role in a healthy diet. It provides essential fatty acids and energy, necessary for good health.
Also, it regulates cholesterol metabolism, maintains healthy skin, and also contributes to prostaglandins, which regulate processes of the body.
Dietary fat helps absorb the fat-soluble vitamins K, A, E, and D and it also aids satisfy the appetite by feeling full.
However, there is evidence that a diet too high in fat might contribute to many health issues. This includes types of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. High intake of trans fat, cholesterol, and saturated fat increases the chance of unhealthy blood fat levels.
A healthy amount of fat is between 20 percent and 35 percent of the total calories. Consuming more than that percent can cause a high intake of saturated fat and make it difficult to keep the calorie intake at the wanted level.
You Need to Be Selective
When it comes to the health of your heart, you need to be selective about the types of fat you consume. Trans fat decreases HDL cholesterol levels. Also, trans fat and saturated fat raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which raises the chance of developing heart disease.
The types of fat which are good for the health of the heart are omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats.
Plant sources that are high in monounsaturated fats include some vegetable oils and most nuts such as high-oleic sunflower oil, canola oil, high-oleic safflower oil, and olive oil.
Plant sources that are high in polyunsaturated fats include certain vegetable oils, flaxseed, and walnuts, such as canola oil, soybean oil, regular safflower oil, and corn oil.
Types of Cooking Oils
All cooking oils are actually a mixture of polyunsaturated, saturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids. Vegetable oils that are liquid at room temperature have little-saturated fat and high amounts of unsaturated fats.
Palm kernel, palm, and coconut oil have more saturated fat and are solid at room temperature. The best oils for cooking at high temperatures like deep-fat frying are canola, safflower, soy, sunflower, and peanut oils.
Also, you should know that all oils per 1 tablespoon have 120 calories and 14 g of fat.
Oils High in Saturated Fats
A high intake of these oils might cause high LDL cholesterol levels.
Coconut Oil – from all cooking oils, coconut oil is highest in saturated fat.
Palm Oil – usually used in processed foods.
Palm Kernel Oil – widely used in processed foods.
Oils High in Polyunsaturated Fat
The following oils are high in this fat, which is thought of as a heart-healthy fat. A type of polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 fats boost behavioral and cognitive development and protect the heart in children.
Cottonseed Oil – used for snack foods like potato chips.
Flaxseed Oil – This oil is usually used as a dietary supplement, and it is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Safflower Oil – usually used for salad dressing and also cooking. The one with the label “high-oleic” has a high content of monounsaturated fat in comparison to the oil without that label.
Sunflower Oil – It is the same for this oil as well, the label “high-oleic” means it has a higher content of monounsaturated fat and it is all-purpose oil.
Walnut Oil – it has a nutty, delicate flavor. High in omega-3 fatty acids, but do not use it for cooking at high temperatures because it can cause a bitter taste.
Grapeseed Oil – Usually used for stir-frying, marinades, and salad dressings.
Soybean Oil – rich in omega-3 fatty acids and usually used in commercially prepared foods.
Oils High in Monounsaturated Fat
These oils can reduce insulin resistance and the risk of heart disease.
Avocado Oil – usually used in salad dressings.
Almond Oil – usually used in cold dishes.
Hazelnut Oil – used in sauces, salad dressings, and cold dishes.
Canola Oil – This oil is low in saturated fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Used in cooking and salad dressings.
Olive Oil – This oil can be pure, refined, and virgin. Pure oil might be a combination of refined and virgin oil. Extra-virgin or virgin oil means that it is made by physical means and during the processing, there has been no chemical treatment.
Extra-virgin comes from the first pressing of the olives. Unfiltered means the oil has small particles of olive flesh. Refined means that it has been chemically treated in order to neutralize strong acids and tastes.
Peanut Oil – is good for high heat cooking methods like frying, since it does not transfer or absorb flavors.
Rice Bran Oil – usually used for high heat cooking methods like stir-frying and deep-frying.
Pumpkin Seed Oil – has a nutty, intense taste.
Sesame Oil – It comes in light and dark colors. The light oil is usually used for frying, and the dark is added to dishes for flavor. This oil is a good source of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.
How to Choose a Cooking Oil
Since all cooking oils are high in calories and 100 percent fat, you need to make sure to use as little as possible.
In fact, for heart health, you need to choose a cooking oil that has the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat, and the lowest levels of saturated fat.
Such examples are walnut oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, and olive oil. In case you want to add flavor to your salad dressing or cooked dishes, you can opt for unrefined olive oil, nut oil, and sesame oil.
How to Properly Keep Oils
You need to keep the oils away from heat and light. You should also know that if your oil is open that affects its shelf life.
An opened bottle of any type of oil usually lasts around 5 months, and on the other hand unopened bottle of any type of oil lasts around a year.
If you choose sesame, walnut, or flaxseed oils, you should know that these oils are prone to rancidity and are very delicate. Therefore you need to keep them in your fridge.
You need to eat to nourish your body.