Healthy Oils Explained: Here's what you need to know about the healthy fats
Understanding healthy oils will help you navigate what you eat and put into your body. Oils offer more than just taste; they're a great source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and nutrients for optimal health. However, not all oils are created equal. In this post, we'll navigate healthy oils you should consider and which ones we use here at Just Bite Me Meals.
Olive oil is thought of as the gold standard when it comes to healthy oils. Rightfully so, it's a staple of Mediterranean diets that are well-known for their health benefits. Olive oil primarily comprises monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), particularly oleic acid, and MUFAs are associated with lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a reduced risk of heart disease.
The most well know olive oil is extra-virgin. Extra-Virgin olive oils are rich in antioxidants, which help combat inflammation and can protect your body from the damage caused by free radicals. Because of its healthy benefits and great taste, olive oil is used in salad dressings, sautéing, and protein bars!
Olive oil is our go-to for anything involving grilling or searing ingredients. It's lovely to use and healthy!
Avocado oil offers another source of monounsaturated fats, making it a healthy choice for heart health. Avocado oil also has a high smoke point (approximately 500F), making it a comparable replacement for Canola oil, when needing to fry or cook at high heat. This oil is rich in vitamins E and K and contains antioxidants like lutein, which aids in eye health. Taste-wise, it's a mild buttery taste that won't overpower other spices when added to a salad dressing, marinated or with grilled vegetables.
Almond oil is created with high pressure, pressing the almonds and extracting the healthy liquids provided. Almond oil offers a nutrient-dense option packed with monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and phytosterols, which can help reduce inflammation and lower overall cholesterol levels. Almond oil has a nutty, light flavor profile that can be used in many ways and is often found in salad dressings, baking, or stir-frying. With its higher smoke point, it's also great for some medium-temperature sautéing.
Coconut oils have become a healthy option and have come into the spotlight over the last few years. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily digested and absorbed by your body, allowing the conversion into energy faster. Along with that, there are other great benefits to using coconut oil.
- MCTs are rapidly absorbed and transported to the liver, where they can be changed to energy. This is great for athletes or those following a ketogenic diet.
- MCTs have antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, which can help the gut biome and offer a healthy balance of gut flora.
- Brain Function: MCTs can at times, be converted into ketones within the liver. Those who follow a ketogenic diet know that ketones are an alternative energy source and have been linked to improved cognitive function.
We absolutely love using coconut oil! When we're working with vegetables like Kale or Broccoli - you may notice the subtle coconut taste.
While coconut and all oils have numerous health benefits, it's important to remember that moderation is key when adding new oils to your diet. Understanding what you're putting in your body, along with exercise, can help you become your best self.
As always, these are our opinions on how to be healthier. Those who make changes to health and exercise should always consult with a healthcare professional.