Home Columns Ways to Select Healthy Oils and Maximize Oil’s Nutrient Value in Cooked Foods!

Ways to Select Healthy Oils and Maximize Oil’s Nutrient Value in Cooked Foods!

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Sussanna Ngodoo Jacob

There are many ways to maximize oils nutritive value in culinary and each method is essential! Aside choosing oils based on the fatty acid missing or is less in ones over all diet plan, using oils moderately especially oils that are rich in omega-6 fatty acid, observing both hygiene safety and beneficial culinary methods suitable for different types of oils considering their smoke point analysis is essential!

To help you choose fresh, healthy and beneficial oils in order to make healthier meals and achieve the right nurture to promote and maintain good health it is therefore important to keep the following tips handy:

Essential Oil tips:

  • When selecting oils remember that your body needs 2 fatty acids on a daily basis, so you want to select oils that contain Omega-6 and Omega-3fatty acids in different ratios. Omega-3 fatty acids are said to promote healthy cells and decrease stroke and heart attack risk.

They are also known for their anti-inflammatory action. While Omega-6 fatty acids maintain cell wall integrity and provide energy for the heart, however too much Omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation in the body.

According to research inflammation is the root cause of many ailments. Basically, all oils should be consumed in moderation some in more strict moderation than others such as those containing Omega-6 fatty acids. An example of omega 6fatty acid rich oil is are

  1. soya beans
  2. safflower
  3. sunflower

 while those rich in omega3-fatty acids are:

  1. Fish
  2. Flax seeds
  3. Canola
  4. Walnut
  5. Cod liver
  • When buying oils from the open markets, always ensure to check the smell of the oil. Remember, all healthy oils have a signature smell.

If it smells off it means the oil has turned rancid meaning the oil is expired because the nutrients have been destroyed and it is no longer fit for human consumption. 

Having said I believe some things are best bought from the super market or a properly organized store. Preferably buy oils from a shop that has good traffic to avoid buying oils that have been kept for too long because such oils may become stale.

Also watch out for those oils kept in a corner of a shop that enjoys too much sun rays, Sun rays may affect oils nutrient content

  •  Avoid oils packed in see through bottles because light destroys nutrients. Rather choose those packed in an opaque (dark coloured) bottle and have been kept in a darker corner of the store. Sun rays affects oils nutrients especially those packed in see through bottles, which is why it is wiser to buy oils that are packed in opaque bottles.
  • Avoid oils packed in plastic containers unless you are certain it has not been touched by sun rays. When rays are strong plastic melts, this melting may not be visible to naked eyes, but our cells feel it after consumption. This is part of what is called free-radicals which are known to be a factor that may influence mutation of dreadful ailments such as cancer.
  • If and when possible, always buy and use organic, unrefined, cold-processed vegetable oils. They definitely contain more nutrients and are generally healthier and void of chemical solvents.
  • When cooking, (not deep-frying) always keep this at the back of your mind, oils are only a flavouring in your food and not a major ingredient so use oils sparingly.

If possible, Oils should be added towards the end of your cooking to ensure the nutrients in oils are not completely destroyed.

Excessive heat destroys oils especially oils with low or medium smoke points. Use oils wisely! Ensure to maximize your oil’s in every recipe.

  • Avoid destroying nutrients in your oils especially as in the case of palm oil, this is often bleached to give a pale colour in the absence of groundnut oil.

Palm oil possesses that reddish colour because of the nutrients it contains and will offer your body if it is not destroyed.

We all have a responsibility to make wise and informed choices each day about the food we buy and eat.

These tips are your ally to safer culinary and dieting so use them generously!

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