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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Health Tips: How To Use Oils

Oils
Olive Oil (best used for dressings and sautéing)
Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olive and is processed without chemicals so is the highest-quality olive oil. Studies show it can protect the heart and reduce the risk of heart disease when eaten instead of saturated fats, such as butter. Extra virgin oil bums when heated above 350 F (177 C) so don't use it for high temperature frying.

Rice Bran Oil (best used for frying)
This oil from the germ and inner husk of rice has a very high smoke point of 490'F (254 C) and a mild, nutty flavor, which makes it a good choice for stir-fries and other frying. Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it's 47 per cent monounsaturated fat, 33 per cent polyunsaturated, and 20 per cent saturated.

Rapeseed Oil (best used for roasting, frying and baking)
With half the saturated fat of olive oil and high in monounsaturated fatty acids, cold-pressed rapeseed oil is rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, has a slightly grassy flavor, and is a good choice if you're watching your cholesterol. It has a high smoke point-490 F-so is a good choice for roasting and frying. Use it as a butter replacement in mashed potato and even in crumbles.

Sesame Oil (best used for Asian dishes, dressings)
Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), vitamin E and natural antioxidants, this flavorsome oil is widely used in Asia, not only for cooking but also for beauty and massage treatments. Light sesame oil has a high smoke point, making it suitable for frying; dark sesame oil from the roasted seeds is better for quick cooking at lower heats. Studies have shown its high PUFA content means it may help lower blood pressure.

Flaxseed Oil (best used for dressings, dips)
Rich in good PUFAs, flaxseed, also called linseed oil, is an excellent plant source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid, so it is a good choice for those who don't eat fish. Store the oil in a dark bottle in the fridge; exposure to light causes it to lose some of its fatty acids. It also suffers when heated, so drizzle on your morning porridge or muesli, salads and cooked meals.

Pumpkin Seed Oil (best used for dressings, dips)
This dark-green oil, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, has anti-inflammatory properties and is even said to help reduce cholesterol levels and ease IBS symptoms. Heating destroys its essential fatty acids, so use this tasty oil for dips and dressings.

Sunflower Oil (best used for cooking, dressings)
Several types of sunflower oil are available. High in PUFAs at 66 per cent, linoleic sunflower oil has a mild taste and a high smoke point, at 475'F, so is widely used for cooking. However, studies show polyunsaturated oils can become toxic at high temperatures, so limit your use of high-PUFA oils in cooking

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