“Fat also contributes to satiety, or the feeling of fullness, after a meal,” says Palumbo. According to the Mayo Clinic, the body processes fat along with protein more slowly than carbohydrates, and this can help you feel full and maintain a healthy weight.
If you especially like cooking with oils, this is a smart move. “Fat is a critical nutrient, and liquid fats like oils are a great source,” says Jessica Levinson, RDN, a culinary nutrition expert in New Rochelle, NY.
According to the University of Maine, if you consume 2,000 calories per day, the daily allowance for women is 5 to 6 teaspoons, while for men it is 6 to 7 teaspoons.
Just make sure you choose the right oil. The AHA recommends replacing foods with saturated fats with foods high in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
To find out which oils to choose, limit, and avoid, see the list below.
1. Olive oil
Olive oil is a key ingredient in the famous heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and is ideal for dressing salads, pastas and breads. “Olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil in particular, is my favorite oil and the one I use the most,” says Palumbo. According to Harvard Health Publishing, extra virgin olive oil has been extracted without the use of heat or certain chemicals, preserving naturally occurring chemicals called phenols in the oil. “[Оливковое масло первого отжима] contains more than 30 different phenolic compounds, a group of phytochemicals, many of which have anti-inflammatory effects and dilate blood vessels,” Palumbo explains, noting the study results.
Research shows that one particular phytochemical is gaining a lot of attention for its potential protective effect against Alzheimer’s disease. “Some types of extra virgin olive oil contain a natural anti-inflammatory compound called oleocanthal,” says Palumbo. “If it’s present in olive oil, you can feel its pungency in your throat.”
Olive oil is also famous for its heart health benefits. “Virgin olive oil contains healthier monounsaturated fats than other oils,” says Palumbo. According to MedlinePlus, monounsaturated fats can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol when you replace them with saturated fats. Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet enriched with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily helps increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. And another study found that drinking more than ½ tablespoon of olive oil per day was associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, in addition to other diseases such as cancer and respiratory diseases.
Olive oil can be used in stir-fry and baked dishes, but it has a relatively low smoke point, that is, the smoke point at which the oil begins to break down and smoke. Therefore, it is not suitable for frying.
2. Rapeseed oil
Canola oil contains just one gram of saturated fat per tablespoon and, like olive oil, is high in monounsaturated fat (about 9 grams per tablespoon). According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it is also high in polyunsaturated fat (4 grams per tablespoon).
However, some experts question the usefulness of rapeseed oil. According to the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, one of the problems is related to the chemical solvent used to extract the oil from canola seeds. However, the finished refined oil contains only small amounts of solvent. Another issue is canola oil’s trans fat content, although Harvard claims it’s the same as many other vegetable oils.
The advantage of rapeseed oil is that it has a higher smoke point than olive oil and also has a neutral taste, making it very suitable for frying.
3. Flaxseed oil
“Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid,” explains Prof. Palumbo. However, fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain other forms of omega-3s (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids).
Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation in the body, which reduces the risk of developing certain types of cancer. The Arthritis Foundation adds that flaxseed oil may also help reduce arthritis symptoms.
Flaxseed oil is not recommended for heating, it is best used in cold dishes like smoothies and salads.
4. Avocado oil
If you love avocados, avocado oil is your product. It can be used both hot and cold. “Avocado oil’s smoke point is higher than olive oil, making it better suited for high-heat cooking,” says Professor Levinson. It can be used for frying, sautéing, or sautéing, and its neutral flavor makes it a good choice for use in baking.
5. Walnut oil
“Walnut oil is a healthy choice and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, primarily alpha-linolenic acid,” says Levinson. Studies show that a diet that includes walnut oil (such as whole walnuts) has a protective effect on the heart and helps the body better cope with stress.
One study showed that people who had high levels of omega-3 in their red blood cells had better cognitive function in middle age.
“Walnut oil is unrefined and has a very low smoke point, so it should not be used in cooking hot foods. It has a rich, nutty flavor and is best used in salad dressings and as a flavor enhancer at the end of cooking.” a meal.”, says Professor Levinson. Another tip is to store this oil in the refrigerator.
6. Sesame oil
A staple of Asian and Indian cooking, sesame oil is on the AHA’s list of heart-healthy cooking oils.
“Sesame oil is another polyunsaturated fat,” says Professor Levinson. Like olive oil, it is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis by preventing the formation of cholesterol plaques on artery walls.
“It has a high smoke point, which makes it suitable for high-temperature cooking, such as frying, but it also has a strong flavor,” says Levinson. But it is still better to use this oil in salad dressings – it gives the food a pleasant nutty flavor.
7. Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil is low in saturated fat and has a high smoke point, making it a useful choice for all types of cooking, including grilling. Its nutty yet mild flavor pairs well with salad dressings or roasted vegetables.
Like flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil contains omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. According to the National Institutes of Health, grapeseed oil also contains vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to help fight free radicals. and is a key vitamin to support the immune system. According to the USDA, this oil is an excellent source of vitamin E.
8. Sunflower oil
Another AHA-approved cooking oil is Russia’s most popular sunflower oil. It is characterized by a high content of unsaturated fats and a low content of saturated fats. Studies show that choosing sunflower oil over oil that is high in saturated fat can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Like grapeseed oil, a tablespoon of sunflower oil provides the body with adequate amounts of vitamin E, according to the USDA.
1. Coconut oil
Experts do not have an unequivocal position regarding this type of oil. For one thing, coconut oil, which remains solid at room temperature, is about 90% saturated fat, but some experts see nothing wrong with this, believing that not all saturated fats have the same effect.
“It’s not the same as the artery-clogging saturated fat found in red meat,” says Professor Warren. Coconut oil is high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are harder for the body to convert into stored fat, he adds. Another advantage of this type of oil: according to the results of the studies, it significantly increases the level of HDL cholesterol (although experts point out that this has not been confirmed in other studies).
However, according to another study, coconut oil can also increase LDL cholesterol, which is not good news. Therefore, if you use coconut oil in cooking or baking to diversify your diet, it should be done in moderation, within the recommended range of saturated fat intake, and as part of a larger healthy diet, recommends the Cleveland Clinic.
2. Partially hydrogenated oils
According to the AHA, the main source of harmful trans fats in the human diet is partially hydrogenated oil, which can be found in processed foods. These artificial trans fats are created during industrial food processing, when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that these fats are so unhealthy that manufacturers had to eliminate them from their product formulas by January 2020. You should also eliminate partially hydrogenated oils from your diet, Warren says. However, the US still allows less than 0.5 g of trans fat per 100 grams of product, and the company can label this amount as 0 g trans fat. However, doctors don’t like it. Even these small amounts of trans fat can quickly accumulate in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
To find out if a product contains trans fat, experts recommend looking for the words “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” in the ingredient list.
“People should avoid partially hydrogenated oils that contain trans fatty acids. They help extend the shelf life of the product, but are harmful to human health,” advises Palumbo.
In particular, experts associate the development of cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer’s disease with its use.
3. Palm oil
Palm oil is made up of equal parts of saturated and unsaturated fats. Because it remains semi-solid at room temperature, according to Harvard Health Publishing, it’s often used in foods in place of partially hydrogenated oils—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, given that it’s lower in saturated fat than butter and free of trans fats.
However, palm oil should not be used for cooking, especially when you can easily opt for oils that are lower in saturated fat. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should be especially critical of their saturated fat intake (because they have a higher risk of heart disease) and avoid fat sources like palm oil.
In addition, the World Wide Fund for Nature opposes palm oil, since its production is associated with deforestation and a negative impact on the environment.