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The Healthy Oil Confusion

I am not sure if you are as confused as me, about all the “healthy oils.”  Where ever I turn, there is a new oil, with a new benefit.  To try and find some clarity for myself, I thought that I would write an article on some of the different healthy oils.

When I grew up, as far as I know, we only had sunflower oil.  Everything was deep fried, and saturated with fat.  Always very delicious, but extremely unhealthy.  Then, as years passed,  we all became aware of olive oil.  No longer were our salads drenched in mayonnaise, in true South African style, but suddenly we tossed theimage001m in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

During this time we were told that, for our hearts we should avoid oil, and fried foods at all costs. So, it came as a huge surprise when suddenly it was suggested that we start taking oil supplements.  The new buzz words became fish oils, and omega 3, 6 and 9’s.

We were only just becoming accustomed to adding oil to our vitamins, and diets, when suddenly there was an onslaught of coconut oil.  I had only ever used coconut oil to tan with when I was a teenager (hence a large proportion of our generation have skin cancer).  It would not have entered my mind to eat it.

Since then so many more oils have appeared, that I am not really sure whats what any more. There is avocado oil, various nut oils,  and even hemp oil (which we probably would have been arrested for using many years ago).  This is not to mention all the aromatherapy oils, made with various herbs, and plants.

I have so many oils in my cupboard now, that I am not sure what to use for what.  So here is a brief description some of the more popular oils. I hope this info helps you as much as it helps me. I have not touched on all the amazing aromatherapy oils, as there is enough info on these for another blog.

Hemp Seed  oil contains the most balanced natural sources of Omega-3 & 6 essential fatty acids which are vital for maintaining a healthy body and mind.  Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) play an important role in metabolism, cell growth, and general brain functioning.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Improves cardiovascular health

Coconut oil is neutral in taste and aroma, and perfect for frying, baking and even spreads.  It is high in medium chain fatty acids that are stable at high temperature cooking.  Solid at room temperature. To melt oil, place jar in warm water. Brilliant for oil pulling (watch this space, to read more on this).

Almond oil is a rich source of vitamin E and beneficial in many ways, including digestion. Almonds are rich in essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium.  It can be used as a substitute for olive oil.  It can also be used in frying and baking recipes due to its high smoke point and fresh, neutral taste. It has a similar oleic acid (omega-9, mononusaturated) content as olive oil and is fairly heat resistant and stable.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which, studies have shown, help manage the risk of heart disease, reduce cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.  It is a perfect as a dressing for salads or for hot dishes like soup, meat or pasta recipes.

Organic Omega Blend is a blend of 5 cold-pressed oils formulated to give you the 2:1:1 ratio of omega-3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids (EFAs) that your body needs.

Suggested Benefits of blend:

  • Helps reduce hyperactivity and learning difficulties (ADHD).
  • Improves general brain functions.
  • Immune booster.

Theraflax Oil is a patented blend with natural healing properties, consisting of cold-pressed flaxseed, borage and black cumin oils.  It has been found to be effective in alleviating symptoms of arthritis and skin disorders such as psoriasis. It has also shown to reduce aches and pains in psoriatic arthritis.

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Comments (4)

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    Bronwyn Matthews

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    I use almond oil all the time now. Without all the healthy goodies inside, it still gives the best taste of any cooking oils

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Trish

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      HI Bronwyn, I must say that we havn’t tried cooking with almond oil yet, but it must be delicious. Another oil for us to try in our healthy cooking.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Bronwyn Matthews

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        You should try it. Beats vegetable oil hands down.

        Reply

        • Avatar

          Trish

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          Great Bronwyn, I am most certainly going to try it. The one thing that I do love is almond nut butter. I could just sit and eat a whole jar.

          Reply

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