Oils are a fundamental part of my diet, and they should be yours too! Unfortunately, as they are fat-based, they get a bad wrap! Your body actually NEEDS fat in order to function optimally, and the oils we use in our cooking can provide the kinds of fats that are good for our bodies.

 

Have you heard of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats? These are the two types of fats found in oils and are associated with decreased risk of lifestyle diseases. Generally, the oils we use in the kitchen are plant-based and this means they do not contain cholesterol. Those oils that are made from plants also tend to be low in saturated fats. These characteristics mean that while oils are high in calories, they are not necessarily bad for us. When used sparingly, oils can provide essential nutrients, as well as flavour to your meals. Here are my tips to choosing the oil to suit your needs.

 

 

Smokin’ hot!


An important factor when selecting the oil you cook with is the ‘smoke point’. This refers to the temperature that the oil begins to smoke, a sign that the oil is producing unhealthy toxins. Different oils have different smoke points, so when cooking, it is important to use an oil that is stable at higher temperatures. I suggest extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil or extra virgin avocado oil!

 

Drizzle it, but just a little!


Oils are a staple on most salads, but how much and what kind?

 

Less is more when it comes to using oils on your salads. Rather than pouring from the bottle and coating everything in a layer, try measuring out a tablespoon or two and mixing your own salad dressing (try combining avocado oil with balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper). Otherwise, measure out a tablespoon and then just drizzle over the top of your salad. When eating out, see if you can opt for dressing on the side, this way you can add to your taste. My tops picks for salad dressing oils include extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin avocado oil and flaxseed oil.

 

 

Stay away from...

 

Avoid oils that contain trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. These are oils that have been chemically modified to be solid at room temperature, creating trans fats in the process. The danger with these products is that they have been shown to increase LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and lower HDL (‘good’ cholesterol), leading to cardiovascular disease. Look out for partially hydrogenated oils in foods such as margarine, packaged snacks, fried foods and pre-baked foods!

 

 

Key Points:

 

  • Keep your oils in a cool, dry and dark place in order to preserve their shelf life.
  • Pick your oil based on how you will be using it:

 

 

Best For

Not So Good For

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sautéing and drizzling

Frying or roasting

Virgin Coconut Oil

Baking

Frying

Extra Virgin Avocado Oil

Frying

Budgeting

 
 

For more ways to healthify your meals, download my free e-book here.

 

 

 

Check out my meal plans.

 

I’d love to see my #WBKbabes getting creative in the kitchen, so make sure you tag @workouts_by_katya and @BlessedProtein