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What's the Best Cooking Oil For Health?

 The best cooking oil for health is not an easy question to answer. The only way to find out what the healthiest is, of course, is by trying it and seeing what you think. Unfortunately, the subject is so hot on the market that everybody has an opinion. And opinions can be very different. You'll have to do your homework.

There are four broad categories of oils: virgin oil, extra virgin oil, soybean oil, and palm oil. The first three fall in the "virgin" category. In other words, these are the oils that were extracted from the seeds of plants without any modification. The term "extra virgin" is actually a marketing term. The more you know about this, the better off you will be when shopping for your daily use.

The next category, the extra-virgin oil, comes from the seeds and skin of the olive tree. This is the oil most responsible for "marvelous," the term that chefs often use to describe its flavor. Extra-virgin oil has high levels of antioxidants, so it is a healthy choice. It is very rich and creamy, with a slight aroma. It's a great cooking choice if you are looking for a butter or emulsion style dressing. Extra-virgin olive oil is great for use on anything from salads to grilled meats and fish.

Most people don't realize that cooking needs fat, too. Unhealthy fats cause clogged arteries, heart attacks, and various cancers. The problem is that fats are both unsaturated and polyunsaturated. The type of fat that is bad for your health is called saturated fat because it increases cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats are good for your health. Examples of polyunsaturated fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated oils, like olive and canola oil.

Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol levels, which in turn can lead to heart disease. Foods high in saturated fat raise your total triglycerides, your risk for developing heart disease. Foods high in polyunsaturated fat have been shown to lower cholesterol, which has similar health benefits as polyunsaturated fats.

The next option on the list of best cooking oil for health is virgin oil. This type of oil contains no synthetic chemicals or refined sugars. It is derived from the nut of the olive tree. This natural product provides you with two nutrients: vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.

Both vitamins are important for healthy circulation. Vegetarians who don't eat much olive oil may be at risk for vitamin deficiency. Polyunsaturated fats are also beneficial to your health, and they prevent LDL, or bad cholesterol, from increasing the risk of heart disease. To improve circulation and prevent a heart attack, eating plenty of fish or olive oil may help. In addition to helping you reduce your risk of heart problems, fish and olive oil are both excellent sources of protein and several other essential nutrients.

The best cooking oil for health is one that is high in nutrients and low in calories. If you want to enjoy delicious foods without adding unnecessary fat, choose oils low in saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These types of oils are beneficial to your health, and they can make dishes taste better. They are also easy to find. Just remember, the healthiest option is one containing no hydrogenated oils or vegetable shortening.

There's good news about cooking with any type of fat. When used sparingly, fats can actually improve your health. However, when there is too much fat in a dish, it can have a negative effect. Unhealthy fats clog the arteries, raise blood pressure and lead to heart disease. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association found that women who increased their intake of olive oil saw a decrease in their risk of stroke. The oil was so beneficial to cardiovascular health that the reduction in risk was not significant when using other types of fat in the same dish.

Butter is another healthier alternative than olive oil, though many people prefer butter over olive oil. Unhealthy fats in butter can clog the arteries, increase cholesterol levels, and increase the likelihood of type II diabetes. One tablespoon a day of butter is the equivalent of two eggs in a medium-sized frying pan. Although butter has many benefits, it is still not as beneficial to your health as olive oil.

Other oils are helpful in lowering bad cholesterol and lowering the likelihood of heart disease. Some of these oils include soybean oil, safflower oil, and fish oil. Health professionals advise using vegetable oils instead of saturated fats if you want to enjoy the many health benefits of these oils. If you are not a fan of the taste of vegetable oils on your food, you can always use peanut, olive, or canola oil instead.