Preparing meals for your family is one of the best things you can do for their health. It allows them to enjoy home-cooked goodness instead of fast food meals. Are you sure, though, that you’re using the right type of cooking oil?
Seed and vegetable oils like canola, corn, safflower, soy, and sunflower are commonly used in the kitchen. But they are the worst oils you can use for cooking, Dr. Joseph Mercola warns.
These oils are manufactured using hydrogenation, a process that introduces harmful trans-fatty acids. Trans-fat is associated with increased rates of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.
Most seed and vegetable oils are composed of long chain fatty acids (LFCAs), which are difficult for your body to metabolize because they require special enzymes for digestion. This puts more strain on your liver, pancreas, and entire digestive system. LFCAs are also predominantly stored in your body as fat and can be deposited in your arteries as cholesterol.
Vegetable oils contribute to the overabundance of omega-6 fat in your diet, creating an unbalanced ratio of essential fatty acids. Your body needs both, but omega-6 fat promotes inflammation while omega-3 fat helps protect you from inflammatory conditions. Consuming more omega-6 than omega-3 fat wreaks havoc on your health, Dr. Mercola points out.
Using vegetable oil for cooking creates trans-fat and other toxic substances such as cyclized, cross-linked, fragmented bond-shifted, and polymerized damaged oil molecules that will stay in your body for years. This is because this type of oil is highly susceptible to heat damage and easily becomes oxidized and rancid.
The Benefits of Using Coconut Oil
For Dr. Mercola, only two oils should be used for food preparation: olive oil and coconut oil.
Extra-virgin olive oil is ideal for salad dressing, but should not be used for cooking since it is susceptible to oxidative damage.
Coconut oil is the only cooking oil that’s stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage. Unlike vegetable oils, coconut oil is composed mainly of medium chain fatty acids (MFCAs). “These are easily digested, immediately converted into energy rather than stored as fat, and may help you achieve weight loss by stimulating your metabolism,” Dr. Mercola explains.
Simple carbohydrates and coconut oil both provide quick energy to your body, but the latter does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. This is why Dr. Mercola recommends coconut oil for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes conditions.
Coconut oil is the richest source of lauric acid, which your body converts to monolaurin, a triglyceride that has anti-bacterial, anti-protozoa, and anti-viral properties.
This versatile oil may also be used as a natural skin care product! Coconut oil has been used for decades as a massage oil. Many experts believe that it may help fight the signs of aging and give you more youthful-looking skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells.
But not all coconut oils are created equal. Your best choice would be an extra-virgin coconut oil certified organic by the USDA and made from traditional, non-genetically modified coconut palms. This extra-virgin coconut oil must also be unrefined, unbleached, unhydrogenated, undeodorized, and did not undergo heat processing.