Saturday, April 17, 2010



If you do an internet search on "healthy cooking oils", you're going to find yourself reading some conflicting opinions. To set the record straight on where I stand regarding food in general, the more natural the better. I would be more supportive of cooking with organic unsalted butter than with an oil free of saturated fats that has gone through some ridiculous processing in order to get it into a bottle and on store shelves.

The important thing to know about cooking with oil is that they all have different smoke points. Once an oil reaches a temperature higher than its smoke point, it will start to break down. This is bad nutritionally speaking as well as taste wise. So, while your extra virgin olive oil is a wonderful thing, it's not the be all end all in the kitchen.

Beyond smoke point, the fat base of all cooking oils differs as well as the process the origin food has gone through to extract the oil. In general, cold pressed oils are best because as mentioned above, oils have smoke points that are often reached when processed using heat. Oils obtained through heat based processes will often be put through additional processes (such as bleaching and deodorizing) to make them "edible". (yuck) Not to mention the fact that the beneficial properties have already been compromised. Expeller pressed oils are oils that have been removed from the origin food using a machine rather than chemicals. Also good, but sometimes heat is a factor here as well. So what's the solution? There's a lot to consider, but this article most closely follows my general opinion. The only disagreement I have here is the opinion on olive oil. You can safely and healthily cook with olive oil.

By the way, vegetable oil is often made from (genetically modified) soy and canola oil sucks regardless of what some people say. The information below about why canola oil sucks can be confirmed in many places:

"...modern canola oil processing is far from gentle and is what is responsible for making it can-ugly. The oil is removed from the seed by a combination of high temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extraction. As you will recall, traces of the solvent usually remains in the oil. Then, the oil is further refined, bleached and degummed, each step requiring exposure to high temperatures and chemicals. Since canola oil has a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, these easily become rancid and foul smelling during these high heat processes. It therefore has to undergo another refining process called deodorization. This deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fats – which can be as high as 4.5%.

Now, canola oil is one of the most commonly used oils in processed foods. Since this oil has already been damaged by its refining process, it then undergoes another process that I have already described called hydrogenation, which further increases the trans fatty acid content of a given food. Canola oil is preferred in the processed food industry not only because it is cheap but because it hydrogenates better than soy or corn oil – an important component for shelf life stability, but not human health." Source: Dr. Pescatore, MD and Certified Nutritionist


Today my totally amazing friend Michelle Pullman joined me for her first Crossfit class. I am happy to report that she loved it and will be returning. Yeah Shelley!!!! She totally kicked ass and it made me smile. It's always so great to see people take that first uncomfortable step into a new situation and find themselves smiling and proud when the experience is over. Afterwards we ate some amazing home style Mexican food at Cacao Deli in Eagle Rock. It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment