[kc_heading_pac_19_background_2][kc_heading_pac_19_font_2 size=”24″ color=”#000000″ ]Finding The Best Cooking Oil For Your Diet[/kc_heading_pac_19_font_2][/kc_heading_pac_19_background_2]

Cooking healthy food for a healthy dietGood health depends on the food we eat, as well as how we cook our food. Whether you steam, broil, sauté or stir-fry, a little cooking oil adds flavor and additional goodness to your food.

Before we go on to finding the best cooking oil for you, we are going to touch upon how we cook our food. I have always wondered what many good tasting food end up being bad for your health, and the answer is often in the way we cook them.

Grilling
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly. Grilled meat acquires a distinctive roast aroma that smells, looks and tastes wonderful. However, studies have shown that cooking beef, pork, poultry, and fish at high temperatures can generate carcinogenic chemicals. This is true of any high-temperature frying or cooking.

Grilling is often presented as a healthy alternative to cooking with oil but you have to balance between using little or no cooking oil to excessive high heat when cooking. [source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grilling]

Stir frying
Stir frying is a Chinese method of cooking similar to sautéing. Stir frying begins with a small amount of cooking oil poured down the side of the wok, followed by seasoning commonly used in Chinese cooking, such as garlic, ginger or seasoning powder. Once the aromas are realized from the dry seasoning, the meat is added and fried. Then vegetables are added, followed by wet seasoning, such as Chinese cooking wine, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, sugar and powder starch or even small amounts of water. The wok is covered while the ingredients spend a short amount of time over the heat.

If it is a vegetable dish, the ingredients are added over a hot flame, stirred and tossed quickly and removed for plating. Depending on the dish and the recipe, stir fry dishes can be cooked very quickly. The idea is that ingredients are cooked quickly while maintaining their nutrients in the dish.

Sautéing
Sautéing is a method of cooking food, that uses a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking. Food that is sautéed is browned while preserving its texture, moisture and flavor. If meat, chicken, or fish is sautéed, the sauté is often finished by deglazing the pan’s residue to make a sauce.

Sautéing is different from searing in that searing only browns the surface of the food. Also different from pan frying, in which larger pieces of food (for example, chops or steaks) are cooked quickly, and flipped onto both sides. [source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sautéing]

Steaming
Steaming is considered a healthy cooking technique and can be used to cook most kinds of food. Studies have shown that steaming results in a more nutritious food than boiling as fewer nutrients end up in the water used to boil the food.

[kc_heading_pac_19_background_2][kc_heading_pac_19_font_2 size=”20″ color=”#000000″ ]Finding The Best Cooking Oil that Matches Your Diet[/kc_heading_pac_19_font_2][/kc_heading_pac_19_background_2]

There are so many products of cooking oil and butter that claimed to be the best for a healthy diet that it can be difficult know which to use.

In this article, we look at 4 types of oil that can used for cooking and what it means for your diet.

  1. Canola oil
  2. Olive oil
  3. Butter
  4. Margarine

1. Canola oil
Canola oil is very popular, with many experts claiming that it has the ability to lower the risk of heart disease. The oil is low in saturated fat, high in monounsaturated fat, and offers the best fatty acid composition when compared to other oils. It has beneficial omega-3 fatty acid and is recognized by many health professional organizations including the American Dietetic Association and American Heart Association [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola]

You can use canola oil in everyday cooking, for seasoning and even for cooking at low temperatures. By itself, canola oil has a bland flavor, and makes it a good oil to use if you cook with spices. Unlike other oils, this one won’t interfere with the taste of your meal.

2. Olive oil
olive oil offers a very distinct flavor with plenty of goodness for a healthy heart. The oil is rich in
monounsaturated fat, helps to lower cholesterol levels and reduces cancer risk. It is also rich in antioxidants and has a very long storage life.

Even though it is commonly used in cooking, it is healthiest when eaten with a salad or as a dressing. When you use it with cooking, you should heat it on low to medium temperatures.

Olive oil comes in many grades, from Extra-virgin olive oil to Refined olive oil. The different names for olive oil indicate the degree of processing it has undergone as well as the quality of the oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is the highest grade available, followed by virgin olive oil.

The word “virgin” indicates that the olives have been pressed to extract the oil; no heat or chemicals have been used during the extraction process, and the oil is pure and unrefined. Virgin olive oils contain the highest levels of polyphenols, antioxidants that have been linked with better health [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil].

Greece is the country with the highest consumption of olive oil in the world, followed by Spain and Italy.

While not conclusive, studies have suggested that consumption of olive oil can provide heart health benefits such as favorable effects on cholesterol regulation.

3. Butter
Butter is one food that has been around for many, many years. Butter tastes good, and offers sources
of Vitamin A and rich in short and medium chain fatty acids. Butter is also made from natural ingredients and not chemically or artificially processed.

You can use butter for cooking, pan frying, baking, or more commonly as a spread. You can also pair it with creamy sauces, marinades, baked dishes, or even bread. What would a cake be without butter?

Proponents of butter consumption, including nutritionists believe butter can have a positive effect on health and helps prevent diseases.

4. Margarine
Margarine was first introduced as an alternative to high fat butter. Margarine is a generic term for vegetable fat spreads, typically composed of vegetable oils. Whereas butter is derived from animal or milk fats. Margarine is used as a spread as an alternative to animal fat, in baking and cooking as a replacement for butter.

Margarine is commonly believed to contain less fat than most oils and butter. But read the label carefully as it depends on what is used. Vegetable fats can contain anything between 7% and 86% saturated fatty acids.

[kc_heading_pac_19_background_2][kc_heading_pac_19_font_2 size=”18″ color=”#000000″ ]Which Is The Best Cooking Oil For Your Diet[/kc_heading_pac_19_font_2][/kc_heading_pac_19_background_2]

When it comes to selecting the best cooking oil for your diet, it depends what type of foods you eat and where you are in the world. Eating healthy is means choosing to eat food that are fresh and gives you the needed nourishment. It depends on your culture, and the style of cooking you do.

The benefits of olive oil are well-known, but the price of olive oil is also considerable in many developing countries. And let us face it, olive oil works great with some food and is not likely to work with….say Chinese food.

At the end of the day, nothing beats having an active lifestyle, cutting down on fast food and sticking to a healthy diet. There are many kinds of cooking oil available to you, budget and health wise. Eating healthy involves cooking healthy food and the best cooking oil for your diet is the one that delivers great tasting food.