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Which oils?

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Old 03-22-2013, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default Which oils?

I've been looking into cooking/baking with oils that are healthier than vegetable or canola oils, but I'm getting confused by everything I've read. Which oils are healthiest that don't add a weird taste? Cold-pressed or expeller-pressed, or are they the same? What oils do y'all use? Coconut? Palm? Safflower? Olive?
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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Healthy fats...so much controversy and fear about them! I love fats, the healthy ones. I've cut out all the unhealthy stuff. These are the ones I regularly cook with: grass-fed ghee and butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oils (fresh pressings from California, Greece, and Spain), safflower and sunflower oil. I also like rendered duck fat and rendered fat from organic uncured bacon. I will dress Asian foods with sesame oil but not cook with it. I have a bottle of red palm oil now but haven't tried it yet.

The less an oil is messed with, the more flavors it will have. Like a cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is going to have stronger olive amora and flavor, and it might even taste peppery. These sorts of oils are actually best used fresh as a dressing or finish on salads or other foods. For example, I love poached eggs with some very strong flavored varietal extra virgin California Ranch olive oil at breakfast. But if I'm going to saute in olive oil, I'll get their Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is very mild and can be used to cook practically anything.

I don't do much baking or deep frying any more, but if I do, I'll use sunflower oil. Coconut oil is also nice for baking, but also for sauteing veggies, fish, chicken, etc. It adds a lovely light flavor.

Read about cold-pressed and expeller-pressed here: http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=32
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:30 PM   #3
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Thank you! That helps a lot
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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I cook mostly with coconut oil now. I like the flavor it gives most foods and it keeps chicken moist. It is also suitable for cooking at med-high heat. I read from a few sources, that olive oil tends to oxidize when you cook with it, so I save it for dressing salads or vegetables and not so much for cooking. I also mix coconut oil, olive oil, and egg yolk for a hair mask that makes my hair really shiny and soft.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
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Yup. I use a lot of coconut oil, ghee, butter, and animal fats.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:47 PM   #6
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So when y'all say animal fats, do you just take the fat from meats that you buy, or can you buy just the fat itself?
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:09 AM   #7
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I'm the same. Coconut oil, grassfed butter (Kerrygold is easy to find), ghee, olive oil, and bacon fat.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:53 AM   #8
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In the strictest sense, oils aren't whole foods but they are close enough for me I use a variety of oils including olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, etc. I tend to use coconut oil for pan frying stuff more often than not.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:54 PM   #9
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I save bacon fat in a jar when I drain the pan. I keep it in the fridge and use it for cooking.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:34 AM   #10
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I'm confused about this too. I use EVOO for just about everything, but I should probably start using the coconut oil I've got sitting around when I cook up my eggs. Here's a nice website that compares the level of Omega FAs, Saturated fatty acids, Poly-and Mono-unsaturated fatty acids in various oils (http://math.ucsd.edu/~ebender/Health.../oil_good.html), but it doesn't include coconut oil :-(

I've read that safflower oil is best for cooking, and virgin olive oil (or if you've got the money, high quality linseed oil) for cold preparations.

Omega-3 FAs are what you really want, and you have to pay big bucks to get them (linseed or flaxseed oil). I add chia seeds to my smoothie to get omega-3s since I HAAATE fish oil, and there have been some PCB/Dioxin contamination issues with fish oil and various gelatin products used as carriers in the pill.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:44 AM   #11
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Sorry, I have to add another thing really quick...

Animal fat does taste great, but I work in qualilty assurance-- assessing health hazards... I've looked at the numbers, and I know better...

Pesticides, Heavy metals (Arsenic, Lead, Mercury & Cadmium), Dioxins, PCBs, and many mycotoxins are KNOWN to accumulate in animal fat. DO NOT EAT PURE ANIMAL FAT! Unless by some rare occurence you are the 1% of the population that has super-human capabilities of "ultra detoxification."

Regulations on the levels of contamination tend to be less strict for what we can feed to animals. This is baaad news, because these toxins build up in the animal's fat stores (ever heard of bioaccumulation. From, oh I dunno, high school biology??). The more animal fat you consume, the more toxic you become.

Adding to this fact, you should know that your body accumulates fat in order to protect the body from the negative effects of these toxins.

ANIMAL FAT= toxicity=weight gain=cancer, heart disease & diabetes

You can eat the meat, but seriously guys... don't poison yourself by eating the fat straight up. You might not notice any ill effects right away, but sure enough... you cannot escape the health effects your entire life.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:56 PM   #12
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Oh my gosh! I just tried cooking my eggs in coconut oil, and it was AMAZING! The eggs didn't burn, they tasted wonderful (not like coconut), and I will most definitely be using coconut oil from now on whenever I use a skillet :P
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reanbean View Post

Pesticides, Heavy metals (Arsenic, Lead, Mercury & Cadmium), Dioxins, PCBs, and many mycotoxins are KNOWN to accumulate in animal fat. DO NOT EAT PURE ANIMAL FAT! Unless by some rare occurence you are the 1% of the population that has super-human capabilities of "ultra detoxification."

Regulations on the levels of contamination tend to be less strict for what we can feed to animals. This is baaad news, because these toxins build up in the animal's fat stores (ever heard of bioaccumulation. From, oh I dunno, high school biology??). The more animal fat you consume, the more toxic you become.

Adding to this fact, you should know that your body accumulates fat in order to protect the body from the negative effects of these toxins.

ANIMAL FAT= toxicity=weight gain=cancer, heart disease & diabetes

You can eat the meat, but seriously guys... don't poison yourself by eating the fat straight up. You might not notice any ill effects right away, but sure enough... you cannot escape the health effects your entire life.
This is not an issue if your animal products are sourced from farms that raise their animals naturally.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:39 AM   #14
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Just chiming in with the above, I cook primarily with olive oil and coconut oil. I like mixing my olive oil with lemon and sea salt for salads and cooking with coconut oil.

As for the animal fat... Agree that it is toxic and awful if you buy feedlot animal products. If you are buying local pastured beef/pork/ or other meats, then the animal fat becomes a very healthy addition to a whole foods diet!
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:04 AM   #15
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When we were young, we used to cooked using animal oils. Later, we realized it was not healthy. During cold weather, animal fats become solid. Now, we use vegetable oils, olive oil, and from time to time coconut oil.

Last edited by chadz : 05-05-2013 at 02:05 AM.
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