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Great Cooking
As Good as Liquid Gold
by Monika Rice
ll oils, by defi nition, are pure fat,
at room temperature. Its composition acid chemistry is altered in undesirable
but not all oils are created equal.
makes coconut oil safe for high-heat ways,” he says.
Though many of us are accus-
cooking and searing, without risking Olive oil, a top-seller around the
tomed to choosing easy to fi nd vegeta-
oxidation of the oil and the introduc- world, is renowned as the Mediter-
ble and olive oils, intriguing options are
tion of free radicals into the food, a risk ranean secret to good health and long
showing up on grocery shelves across
when oils high in polyunsaturated fats, life. Its distinct fl avor complements
the country. Oils of grape seed, sesame,
such as walnut and sunfl ower oils, are multiple heart-healthy ingredients.
coconut, peanut, walnut, saffl ower,
exposed to high heat. Research attributes olive oil’s particular
pumpkin and sunfl ower now greet us.
Canola oil rates high among nutri- benefi ts to its monounsaturated fat con-
With so many unfamiliar choices, we
tionists and physicians because it, too, tent, which can lower the risk of heart
need to be aware that some oils are
can help lower the risk of heart disease. disease by reducing cholesterol levels.
more useful than others, in terms of
Extracted from rapeseed, a plant in the It’s also a good source of vitamins E, A
light, healthy and fl avorful cooking.
cabbage family, its generous helping and K, and abundant in polyphenols, a
of omega-3s helps qualify it as the best powerful class of antioxidants.
Bottled Benefi ts
fatty acid composition (good versus
“Fats and oils can be among the
bad fat) among oils. Its mild taste also
Flavor Factors
healthiest substances in your diet,” ad-
makes it a preferred selection for cook-
Oils pack plenty of fl avor punch, so
vises nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman,
ing and baking.
small amounts can go a long way.
Ph.D., “but only if they’re organic.” She
Look for organic, expeller-pressed
Few are as multitasking as olive oil.
notes that oils in conventionally grown
brands of canola oil, advises Dr.
Extra virgin olive oil, the least pro-
seeds and nuts can be “a storehouse
Andrew Weil. “When extracted with
cessed and most fl avorful type, works
of fattening pesticides.” Like other
chemical solvents or high-speed presses
best in unheated dips or sauces, salad
nationally certifi ed foods, organic oils
that generate heat, canola oil’s fatty
dressings and marinades. Virgin olive
produced without toxic and persistent
pesticides are clearly preferable.
Liquid at room temperature, most
Heating olive oil does not diminish its nutritional value, but
oils are a blend of saturated, polyun-
does weaken its fl avor. Many chefs choose virgin
saturated and monounsaturated fatty
acids, with the exception of coconut
olive oil for cooking, saving extra virgin varieties for cold
oil, a plant oil comprised mostly of
dishes and for fl avoring.
saturated fatty acids, which is solid
30 Oakland, Macomb, Livingston & St. Clair, MI
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