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Olive Oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil: Which oils you should *really* be cooking with and why

March 29, 2021

In today’s wellness conscious world, most of the recipes you find on YouTube or the Internet require olive oil, and for good reason: it’s good for the heart. But then again, so are other oils—which is why we’re going to break down all the oils you really should be using and why.

 

Olive oil

Want better heart health? Then olive oil is for you! But contrary to popular belief, its health benefit isn’t limited to just lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease or keeping your heart healthy. According to Yale, olive oil can also reduce the risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s (and other neurodegenerative diseases), and even helps with added protection against viruses. 

 

Vegetable oil

Plant based oils—like corn, canola, soybean or sunflower—are not only better options for being non-polluting renewable resources, they’re known to be rich with linoleic acid too: an essential nutrient that’s known to lower the risk of heart disease and reduce blood cholesterol levels. As another oil linked to better heart health, the Institute of Medicine and the American Heart Association recommends consuming “two and four tablespoons of vegetable oil daily to reach the necessary amount of linoleic acid needed for a heart-healthy diet.” 

 

Coconut oil

While coconut oil is a great choice for adding flavor to food and raising your good cholesterol levels, a study published by Harvard indicates that at the same time, it has the tendency to increase your LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding coconut oil and experts are divided on this one, so their recommendation is to consume it in moderation.

 

Macadamia oil

A popular replacement for butter because of its amazing nutty flavor, macadamia oil is considered just as healthy as whole nuts and is comprised of 81% monounsaturated fats. What does this mean? Just like most of the oils in our list, it promotes heart health—and then some! Macadamia oil also supports weight loss and can help improve the appearance of your skin. 

 

Sesame oil

If you want more flavor for less, then sesame oil is your best bet! A little amount goes a long way with this oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease according to studies. Other studies also show that it can help reduce bad cholesterol, which means another win for your heart!

 

What oils do you often use for cooking? And do you look at flavor, health benefit, or both? No matter which oil you use as part of your diet, it’s always best to consider what you’re actually cooking in it too. That being said, happy eating and bon appétit! 

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