We have all heard about the health benefits of olive oil and how it can cut your risk of heart attack, but it is not fit for every dish. There are plenty of other healthy oils that do not get the attention they deserve. Here is a list of these under-appreciated oils, their uses and why they’re good for you.
Grapeseed Oil great for your skin
1 tablespoon contains 120 calories, and 14 grams of fat (only 1 of which is saturated). Grapeseed oil is high in vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene. And due to the high omega-6 content (up to 70 percent), grapeseed oil can be good for psoriasis, acne and many other skin conditions. Since it has a higher smoking point, grapeseed oil is great for frying or sautéing. Its light flavor also makes for a delicious salad dressing.
Walnut Oil excellent antioxidant
1 tablespoon contains 164 calories and 16 grams of fat. Most of the fat is polyunsaturated fatty acids. Walnut oil contains a variety of minerals, including zinc, selenium, magnesium, copper, potassium and phosphorous. This oil also contains healthy amounts of vitamins C and E, both of which have antioxidant properties. When exposed to high temperatures, walnut oil turns bitter, so it’s best used uncooked in dressings or sauces.
Sesame Oil antibacterial and antioxidant
1 tablespoon contains 119 calories and 13 grams of fat. Sesame oil has antibacterial properties so using it as a topical treatment or a dietary supplement may help protect against abnormal bacterial growth. It also contains a chemical called phytate, which acts as an antioxidant in cells and may help prevent cellular damage and genetic alterations, decreasing your risk of developing cancer and other diseases. Light sesame oil has a high smoking point so you can fry and sauté with it. It’s also a tasty addition to Asian inspired dressings and sauces.
Canola Oil best source of plant-based omega-3 fat
One tablespoon contains 124 calories and 14 grams of fat (one of which is saturated). Canola oil is among the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fat and has the least saturated fat of all cooking oils and is free of trans fat and cholesterol. It’s also a great source of vitamin E. Look for non-GMO or organic canola oil, which is free of genetically modified organisms. Canola oil has a high heat tolerance, neutral taste and light texture, making it perfect for sautéing and baking.
Coconut Oil elevates HDL levels and reduces heart disease
One tablespoon contains 122 calories and 13.6 grams of fat (12 grams of which are from saturated fat.) Because it’s so high in saturated fat, coconut oil’s health benefits are often called into question. But it actually elevates HDL levels (the good cholesterol) and reduces heart disease. It also contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Coconut oil has a very high smoking point, making it ideal for frying. When unopened, coconut oil has the consistency of thick hand cream. But if the room temperature is high, usually over 76 degrees, it may liquefy. The oil is still usable in its liquid or solid state.
Flax Oil building blocks of EPA and DHA
One tablespoon of flaxseed oil has 120 calories and 13 grams of fat (1.5 of which is saturated.) Flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which is a fatty acid that the body converts into the omega-3s EPA and DHA. It also has omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, lecithin, magnesium, fiber, protein and zinc. Because of its low melting point, skip the stove. Instead add it to foods such as salads, yogurts and vegetables after they are prepared.
Avocado Oil reduces inflammation, contains protein and potassium
One tablespoon contains 124 calories and 14 grams of fat, mostly unsaturated. Avocado oil is high in vitamin E and unsaturated fats and contains more protein than any other fruit and more potassium than a banana. Research has shown that avocado oil exerts anti-inflammatory effects that may be helpful in preventing bone erosion associated with periodontal disease. This oil is similar in nutritional value, texture, and taste to olive oil and you can use it for cooking at low temperatures, as well as dips and dressings.