Coconut, Flaxseed or Olive Oil? Know Your Cooking Oils

Best Cooking Oils for Health and Beauty: Organic Butter, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Olive Oil

courtesy Move Nourish Believe blog

Increasing scientific studies are focusing on the critical role of lipids in promoting skin health. But what are lipids exactly and how can you ensure your skin has an adequate supply? Lipids are essentially the building blocks of all living cells, and fatty acids are one of the most important lipid components when it comes to beauty.  By using blossom jar’s face and body oils, you’re absorbing key fatty acids from the blends themselves. But as you know, getting these nutrients externally is only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to get them from your diet for optimum nourishment.

The blog Move Nourish Believe recently published a post about the best dietary oils – demystifying how to cook with oils, listing which oils can withstand high heat without oxidizing (i.e. producing free radicals that damage cells) and calling out the oils that shouldn’t be taking up space in your pantry! Personally, I’ve found that cooking with coconut oil, organic butter and Indian ghee keeps my skin moisturized and glowing. I also use olive oil and macadamia oil, typically just for drizzling on salads and savory dishes.

Below is an excerpt from “The Truth About Cooking Oils.”  Time to make space in your beauty cupboard for the best cooking fats and oils!

 

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Coconut Oil

In the last few years, coconut oil has been the target of a lot of hype.  Derived mostly from the flesh of mature coconuts, coconut oil is made up of around a massive 90% saturated fat.  There are many processing techniques used to extract coconut oil, however, we recommend using extra virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil, which has been gently processed, still retaining high quality fats.   

The Pros:

  • Is predominantly made up of medium chain fatty acids (a term that refers to how long the fats are), which can be easily broken down and used for energy in the liver, so are rarely stored within the body unlike longer fatty acids.
  • Contains almost 50% lauric acid, a medium chain saturated fatty acid which has been found to have many health benefits, including reducing heart disease risk, weight loss, and its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.  The only other natural source of lauric acid in such high concentration is breast milk!
  • Saturated fatty acids are extremely resistant to heat, light and oxygen.  This means that coconut oil will retain the high quality of its fats as they will not easily become rancid and form harmful free radicals. Saturated fats allow more efficient use and storage of omega 3s in the body.
  • A good high heat cooking oil.

The Cons:

  • Can be expensive.
  • The smell and taste may mean this oil is not suitable for all applications.
  • Contains some longer chain fatty acids that are harder to digest and are often stored within the body.
Olive Oil

Since the largely popular Mediterranean diet, olive oil has been a favourite in many kitchens.  Like coconut oil, we recommend using extra virgin olive oil.

The Pros:

  • Is minimally processed.
  • Is 75% oleic acid, an extremely stable monounsaturated fatty acid.
  • If cold pressed, it still contains a high amount of antioxidants.
  • Is great for a wide variety of applications.
  • In comparison to other common unsaturated oils on the market, olive oil is relatively low in omega 6 fatty acids.

The Cons:

  • Heating extra virgin olive oil may compromise both taste and quality of the fatty acids.
  • Contains some unsaturated fatty acids that are susceptible to damage from heat, light and oxygen, and may become harmful to health.
  • Contains longer chain fatty acids, which may contribute to the build up of body fat.
Butter

The use of butter has been traced back over 2,000 years, and is a large part of a traditional diet.  In the last century, butter has been placed on the backburner as a food of choice as saturated fat has been condemned of causing heart disease.

The Pros:

  • Extremely nutrient dense, containing all of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), as well as a wide variety of minerals.
  • Contains a large portion of short and medium chain fatty acids that are easily digested and converted straight into energy (therefore, not stored as fat).
  • Contains some lauric acid (the fatty acid found in coconut oil that has many health benefits).
  • When made from pasture fed cows, the quantity of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids is equal, preventing the imbalance of omega 6 that causes health problems.
  • Butter contains components that are essential for brain function, gut health, to produce steroids and hormones, and prevent inflammation.
  • Has a beautiful taste, and is also pleasant smelling.

The Cons:

  • Lower grade butter made from grain fed cows do not contain as many of the health qualities of pasture-fed butter.
  • Pasture-fed, organic butter can be expensive.

Click here to continue reading “The Truth About Cooking Oils” article on Move Nourish Believe.