Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Lowdown on Oils

As I said I was going to do some more research on coconut oil, and why one lecturer said it was bad for you! That statement was quite disturbing to me, as I have become VERY fond of my coconut oil for cooking. I really didn't set out to research it this minute but then there is was in my required reading for class, so I saved the other post I was working on and here goes...

Yes, I personally will continue to use coconut oil in my cooking.

Why? Every oil has what's called a smoke point. (this is the temperature in which the structure of the oil begins to change, and can bring on free radical damage to the body) Olive oil has a very low smoke point, thus it is important to take care when cooking with it.(Yikes!) Best to cook with oil's that have a high smoke point. Guess who? You got it Coconut oil! Coconut oil is a saturated fat, and yes we have all been warned about it; however, coconut oil is only 9% palmitic acid (long chain saturated fat associated with heart disease) so it seems a better choice if we are concerned with smoke point and free radical damage. High oleic versions of sunflower or safflower are also more stable when cooking at higher temperatures. Avacado oil is also a great high temperature oil to cook with, is monounsatured fat with a high smoke point.

It is best to save olive oil for low very low temperature cooking (if at all) or salad dressings. Flax seed oil is also best not cooked with.

Please remember that even though our bodies need some fat, too much is never a good thing. It is best to choose your oils according to what you plan to use them for. Many oil labels will have the smoke point labeled on the container.

Source: World's Healthiest Foods- George Mateljan


Tam said...

Hey thanks for the info! That's pretty much how I understand it too! I try to use my coconut oil for cooking and Olive oil for dressings! And yeah I try not to overdo!

Orlando Realtor said...

Very interesting, thanks for the explalnation.

Chrissy D said...

Thanks for the information! I learned something. WOOHOO! LOL I cook a lot with Olive Oil, so this has brought a new awareness for me! TFS!

Frederick said...


Since coconut oil (CNO) is highly saturated, it is very stable and remarkably resistant to oxidation. It's so stable that when heated, it is 12 times more resistant to oxidation than canola oil, 16 times more than soybean oil, and 300 times more than flaxseed oil.

When used in cooking, CNO can be reheated without producing harmful free radicals. Use it for frying, baked goods, for greasing pans, etc. It doesn't even have to be refrigerated.

Coconut oil can be used for all of your meal preparation just as you would with other oils. Just remember to mix another oil like virgin olive oil for salad dressings. Pure coconut oil doesn't make a good salad dressing because it hardens due to its high melting point.

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pearly1979 said...

What is free radical change?

fitncrafty said...

Free Radicals are atoms with an upaired electron (maybe that's too much science) The free radicals effect proper digestion, can cause cell damage and have been linked to cancer and the acceleration of cancer, heart disease and other age related disorders.
Eating a diet high in antioxidants can help combat free radical damage, in other words Eat your Veggies, and fruits.