There are several natural cooking oils that are wonderful to use and that are healthy for your body. However there are others, that are declared as natural but are in all actuality, not natural or healthy.
If you read our page "What is Natural" we defined what natural really is, but if you haven't here it is in a nutshell.
Natural: Having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives, as in organic. Produced by nature, not artificial.
That is a pretty simple definition and should be pretty easy to hold to in a product. However it seems to be just the opposite. Too often there are secret or mysterious ingredients with very complicated names. Sometimes it's just to keep others from copying the ingredients in a creators recipe.
However, there are other reasons, such as starting with a man made/synthetic product to make a cheaper final product for higher profit, or adding extra ingredients to make a product stretch farther--again for more profit. All products are affected in a negative way when treated in this manner and oils are not an exception.
There are many different kinds of cooking oils. Some are very expensive and used for specific types of recipes. We will briefly discuss as many as possible, but focus on those that are more economical and yet are truly natural cooking oils and healthy for your family.
I have two favorite natural cooking oils that I use 90% of the time. There are a few others that I have used for special recipes or maybe something medicinal. But mainly I stick to coconut oil and olive oil for most of my cooking oil use, as well as for beauty and health needs. For general everyday purposes these two oils can carry the load.
Here is just a short list of good natural cooking oils with a very short definition of each oil.
Sesame oil- has a neutral flavor but toasted sesame oil has more of a nuttier flavor. They are good for sautes and a general purpose cooking oil. This is what I use for cooking oriental dishes, adds a distinct flavor that we really like. I have also used sesame oil for "oil pulling" for my teeth. I had good results with it but it is a little pricey and so I moved to coconut oil for pulling.
Peanut oil- has a stronger flavor and some people use it for stir fry. It also goes rancid quicker than other oils. It also has a higher omega 6 content, which scientists have determined, contributes to chronic inflammation. We have only used peanut oil a few times and it was a small jar that we only used for adding to homemade peanut butter. Helps it to not be so dry.
Avocado oil- I have never used this oil, we do however love avocados, next best thing. In researching this oil I found that it has a very high smoking point and is versatile for many uses.
Flaxseed oil- I have never used this oil either, but while researching, I found that it also has a nutty flavor but should be used sparingly and must be refrigerated.
Butter- Butter is great for flavoring foods and cooking some, like eggs. You can also use Ghee made from butter for flavoring enriching drinks. Some of my family members use ghee in their coffee.
Your can make ghee yourself. If you make it to use in your coffee however, you would probably prefer to use unsalted butter.
Coconut oil- An amazing natural cooking oil, with many uses.
These next oils are considered the least desirable to use due to their high polyunsaturated fat and/or high omega 6 content. This type of fat is very detrimental to you heart and according to the Mercola health website:
"When heated to high temperatures, polyunsaturated vegetable oils, including corn, canola, and soybean oils, create oxidized cholesterol and inflict damage on your health."
Other reference books agreed with this as well and in addition gave warning against them because many of the crops that they are processed from are Genetically Modified. "Over 90 percent of corn and soy, two of the most common food ingredients today, are grown from genetically modified (GM) seeds."
Corn oil-- Avoid Mercola did give suggestions for corn oil that are a little unorthadox but is said to be affective: Make your sink shine , Clean wood surface of stuck paper, Soften baseball mitt, Clean up spots from wood furniture, Coat your snow shovel . Just a little thought provoking.
Vegetable oil--Avoid According to one study on vegetable oil: Prolonged consumption of the repeatedly heated oil has been shown to increase blood pressure and total cholesterol, cause vascular inflammation as well as vascular changes which predispose to atherosclerosis.
The harmful effect of heated oils is attributed to products generated from lipid oxidation during heating process. In view of the potential hazard of oxidation products, therefore this review article will provide an insight and awareness to the general public on the consumption of repeatedly heated oils which is detrimental to health.
My note....(all that fried fast food, that we consume on a consistent basis, is always cooked in repeatedly heated vegetable oils)
These next two fats don't qualify as oils, especially not as natural cooking oils. They are dangerous fats though, that I want to be sure to mention and make others aware of the danger they pose.
Shortening and Margarine--Avoid In addition to being high in polyunsaturated fats it is also hydrogenated and some is partially hydrogenated.
As quoted in "Natural Health, Natural Medicine" by Andrew Weill. M.D.
"Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils have been artificially saturated to change their consistency. Solid white vegetable shortenings begin as liquid oils, then undergo a drastic process that renders them most unhealthy for hearts and arteries. Do not eat any cookies, crackers, breads , or pastries containing partially hydrogenated anything. (That rule eliminates virtually all commercial baked goods.) Margarine is another artificially hydrogenated fat. However good the oils are that go into it, they come our chemically altered in an undesirable way. You are better off eating small amounts of real butter."
I have made a separate page for Coconut oil as a natural cooking oil and for other purposes because there is so much to tell about it. If you have had some awesome health or cooking results from coconut oil there is a place for you to share your experience with us and others on the corresponding page.
You never know when your experience may answer another persons question or help them with a solution they are searching out. No one has all the answers, so we can share and help many others with our experiences. Thank you for joining us in our journey towards more natural (no chemical additives) living.
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