The Healthiest Oils You've Never Heard Of | STACK

The Healthiest Oils You've Never Heard Of

April 7, 2013 | Kait Fortunato

Must See Nutrition Videos

Oils have a bad connotation associated with them. They are almost pure fat, and they can increase the risk of health issues later in life. However, several oils are actually beneficial for your health. (Find out why omega-3s are important.)

Healthy oil can be an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which can lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Omega-3's also reduce inflammation and may promote weight loss.

The most popular healthy oil is extra virgin olive oil, or as Rachel Ray calls it, EVOO. This is a must-have for any kitchen. But other oils are available that can serve as replacements for unhealthy options such as butter, creamy dressing and mayo-based condiments.

Here are some of the healthiest oils:

Grapeseed oil is derived from grapes (who knew grapes had oil?), and has antioxidant properties similar to red wine without the alcohol content.

Sesame oil is high in antioxidants and filled with magnesium, copper, iron and calcium. It is a great source of vitamin E and the perfect complement to Chinese-inspired dishes.

Avocado oil is harder to come by, but extremely high in vitamin E and chlorophyll, which boosts energy levels. (Learn more about avocado.) It has a high smoke point, making cooking much easier.

Safflower oil is high in monounsaturated fats and also has a high smoke point. The taste is similar to olive oil, so it is a neutral cooking ingredient.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Coconut oil provides a deeper flavor to foods. It has a saturated fat called lauric acid, which increases good HDL cholesterol. Since it's higher in saturated fats, I do not recommend replacing other oils with coconut oil. (See also why you should eat coconut oil.)

Canola oil has the next highest amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, after olive oil and safflower oil.

Flaxseed oil is popular among vegetarians looking to increase their omega-3 fats. It is most commonly mixed into smoothies or sprinkled on oatmeal.

Sunflower oil is used for cooking, but can also be applied directly to the skin to heal wounds, psoriasis and other skin injuries. It also can relieve constipation and lower bad cholesterol.

Sources

http://www.wholeliving.com/133738/choosing-healthier-oils

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-40-SUNFLOWER%20OIL.aspx?activeIngredientId=40&activeIngredientName=SUNFLOWER%20OIL

http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-runners/liquid-gold?page=single

Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

The Case for Red Meat

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

Foods for Athletes: Top Trends for 2014

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

The Boston Cannons'

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them