Using Coconut Oil as your Healthy Alternative Cooking Oil
Did you know that most cooking oils change their molecular structure the warmer they get? So whilst the likes of Olive Oil and avocado oil are general seen as healthy oils, in fact, they lose some of their goodness in the heating process.
When an oil is heated past its ‘flash point’, often known as ‘smoke point’, it starts to break down, releasing a substance called acrolein, a chemical that gives burnt food its acrid flavour. Unprocessed oils are packed full of amino-acids, enzymes and minerals which are destroyed when the ‘flash point is reached and release free radicals. All unprocessed oils have lower flash points than processed oils, (which is why most oil is processed, longer shelf-life, etc), so for healthy cooking try and keep below the oil flash point.
Two cooking oils that are healthy for you; Rice Bran Oil & Coconut Oil have better flash points than most unprocessed oils: Rice Bran Oil is a very popular oil that is widely used in the far east, and Coconut Oil is used throughout the far east and middle east and parts of Africa where Coconuts are available in good supply.
Recently there have been some health concerns associated with Sunflower oil. Sunflower Oil has a high Omega 6 content which at these levels can cause inflammation in the body, and at any heat it releases high levels of aldehydes into cooking fumes. Aldehydes are toxic and can break down DNA and are associated with heart disease.
So, just as a rule of thumb, use oils like Olive and Avocado as dressing oils to get all their wonderful benefits, and oils like coconut and rice bran oil for frying, but try not to use oils regularly at high heats as this destroys the good things and can cause health problems.
At Natural Health World, we believe that making small changes to the way we prepare our food, the variety of our food (protein, healthy fats, vegetables), our exercise regime and natural supplementation (if required), can make a huge improvement to our overall health and wellbeing.