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The Two Healthiest Cooking Oils Are...

Whether it's soybean, safflower, grape seed, or olive oil, few can agree on the most beneficial oils from both a nutritional or cooking perspective. However, when assessing all the facts, none of the oils above even make the cut for the healthiest.

Even if you're not in the health industry, you've likely been tuned into the media's disinformation campaign for the last 50 years telling us that saturated fats are bad for our health leading to all sort of fatal diseases and health consequences such as high cholesterol and heart disease. Nothing of course, could be further from the truth since all saturated fats are not created equal.

The Not-So-Good Cooking Oils

Olive Oil:
High mono fat, able to lower cholesterol but deficient in poly fat, which contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). EFA’s are truly essential to life as every metabolic process in your body depends on them. A low smoke point makes it a poor choice for frying, and its heavy taste makes it undesirable in many baked goods. Traditionally a good salad oil.

Canola Oil: High mono fat with cholesterol lowering ability but there are concerns about the origin. “Canola oil” is a term coined by Canada to change the name of “rapeseed oil”. The rapeseed plant contains erucic acid making it toxic and is used as an industrial lubricant. It has been genetically modified and hybrid to produce a low erucic acid version. Commonly hydrogenated, it is extensively used in the food industry because of its low price and high smoke point, however seeing Canola is artificial and man-made, organic or natural versions of this oil do not exist.

Peanut Oil: A good balanced oil. This oil has good cholesterol lowering ability and a high smoke point, making it a good frying oil. It imparts a slightly earthy, nutty flavor. It lacks the anti-oxidants and micronutrients of Rice Bran or Coconut Oil. A small percentage of people are allergic to nut oils and a high percentage of peanuts

Soybean Oil: This oil is a high poly fat. Your poly fat intake should be around 33% of your total fat intake. A high poly percentage is, an aid to tumors and cancer and should be carefully watched. Up to 80% of the oil consumed in the U.S. today comes from soybeans. Soybean oil is commonly hydrogenated and used in many processed foods. More than 80% of Soy is now genetically modified making this oil highly undesirable regardless of any touted health benefits.

Grape Seed Oil: A good frying oil, but again high in poly fat. It does lower cholesterol because of the high unsaturated fat content but is way over the recommended 33% poly-unsaturated fat. The taste of grape seed is below average and it goes rancid quickly.

Corn Oil:
Extracted from the germ of corn (maize). Its main use is in cooking, where its high smoke point has made it a valuable frying oil. However, the benefits stop there. Since most corn worldwide is genetically modified, any benefits from this oil are highly outweighed by the risks.

Sunflower Oil:
Contains largely omega 6 polyunsaturates, so if you use sunflower oil regularly, you need to be sure you're getting enough omega 3s in your diet from other sources to balance it out. Re-using the oil more than a few times for deep-frying could cause the formation of harmful trans fats.

Safflower Oil:
Safflower oil is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. The reasons to avoid this oil are also similar to sunflower as the polyunsaturates are largely omega 6 based. These omega-6 oils are also highly susceptible to heat damage because of their double bonds.

Oil Type
Smoke
Point
Mono
Unsaturated
Fat
Poly
Unsaturated
Fat

Saturated
Fat

Coconut Oil
350º
6%
2%
92%
Rice Bran Oil
490º
47%
33%
20%
Peanut
450º
48%
34%
18%
Soybean
465º
24%
61%
15%
Olive
375º
77%
9%
14%
Corn Oil
450º
25%
62%
13%
Grape seed
400º
17%
71%
12%
Sunflower Oil
475º
20%
70%
10%
Safflower Oil
510º
13%
77%
10%
Canola
470º
61%
33%
7%



The Two Best Cooking Oils Are...

Coconut and Rice Bran oil are clearly the healthiest cooking oils for the majority of the world.

Coconut Oil

Did you know that multiple studies on Pacific Island populations who get 30-60% of their total caloric intact from fully saturated coconut oil have all shown nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease?

50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth!

Coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits. It's nature's richest source of these healthy MCFAs.

Coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. It acts on your body like a carbohydrate, without any of the debilitating insulin-related effects associated with long-term high carbohydrate consumption!

Coconut oil is exceptionally helpful for pregnant women, nursing moms, the elderly, those concerned about digestive health, athletes (even weekend warriors), and those of you who just want to enhance your overall health.

Rice Bran Oil

Rice bran is an incredible source of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and antioxidant nutrients that help fight disease and promote good health. It's no wonder the healthy oil that comes from rice bran is becoming so successful at replacing hydrogenated oils containing trans fat. Research is on-going with this invaluable food source and scientists have found components critical to human health.

In its natural state, contains several constituents of potential significance in diet and health. Interest has focused primarily upon gamma-oryzanol, tocotrienols, and tocopherols, all of which demonstrate antioxidant properties. The latter two are naturally-occurring forms of Vitamin E. Both Types of Vitamin E are natural antioxidants that help fight free radicals, a major cause of cancer. Tocotrienol is believed to vastly out perform Tocopherol in fighting free radicals and in preventing oxidation, it also helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Tocotrienol is a difficult nutrient to find but is abundant in many types of Rice Bran Oil.

It's high smoke point and stability under high temperatures are remarkable and it's one of the best oils to use for popcorn and frying.

Oryzanol is a powerful antioxidant only found in rice bran oil. It is more active than Vitamin E in fighting free radicals. Oryzanol is effective in lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing liver cholesterol synthesis and treating menopausal disorders.

Phytosterols are nutrients with many health benefits and are more abundant in Rice Bran Oil than any other oil. Scientific research suggest that Phytosterols reduce cholesterol, provide anti-inflammatory effects, inhibit the growth of cancer cells, improve the immune system and have other health benefits. There are 27 different phytosterols in Rice Bran Oil.

Cautions and Summary

Although rice bran oil has been tested to reduce cholesterol levels, it is important to recognize its high omega-6 content which can be detrimental to health if used excessively. A high consumption of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are also found in most types of vegetable oils, may increase the likelihood of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. Other analysis suggested an inverse association between total polyunsaturated fatty acids and breast cancer risk.

Rice bran oil may also have the potential to be genetically modified in the future, so it's important to ensure only organic sources of this oil are used.

Coconut oil is likely the healthiest and superior of all cooking oils. Rice bran oil is a close second.


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