Oils - a confusing mystery

Photo by  Roberta Sorge  on  Unsplash

Nothing seems to be more confusing than what kind of oil to use for what purpose in your kitchen. Even I needed a lot of research to comb through all the recent studies and opinions on oils.

When it comes to Dr. Esselstyn, a well-known physician promoting plant-based diets, oils should be banned from our kitchens for good. He explains that oils have no nutritional value, no fiber, no mineral, but are just 100% pure fat. Their fatty acids (mostly saturated and mono-unsaturated fats) are causing heart diseases and therefore should be avoided completely. (Source)

Others say that there are nutrient packed oils, which should be part of everyone's nutrition. Especially the Mediterranean diet, with lots of olive oil is supposed to be beneficial in the prevention of heart diseases.

The extreme side even uses oils/butter in coffee. The bullet proof coffee has become very popular as it's supposed to help in weight loss, increase your brain function and speed up your metabolism. Many don't realize the huge amount of calories from fat they are using in a single drink.

  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 2 Tbsp Brain octane oil
  • 2 Tbsp of grass-feed butter/ghee

This results in a total of over 500kcal all coming from fat. So just be careful how much "super-coffee" you drink.

As you can see, fats and oils are a confusing subject and I'd like to give you my opinion about it. I don't have scientific proof, but it is working for me.

Which oils to choose

Avocado oil, linseed oil, canola oil, olive oil, coconut oil, chia seed oil, sesame oil, ghee, butter, peanut oil etc. The list goes on and on however I use these four oils in my kitchen.

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Virgin olive oil
  • Virgin (unrefined) coconut oil
  • Refined coconut oil

Oils are processed food and therefore I believe that we should use it sparingly and take the real fruit whenever possible. I'm not using avocado oil to top my salad but mix it with half an avocado. I'm not pouring chia-seed oil in my smoothie but use whole chia seeds. You get the point.

Smoking point or what to cook with

When it comes to cooking and baking my advice is to use olive oil and coconut oil depending on the taste you want to have and what cooking method you use. Below you find an overview how I choose my oils.

You'll definetly find other sites stating other recommendations, but based on my knowledge this makes the most sense.

You'll definetly find other sites stating other recommendations, but based on my knowledge this makes the most sense.

As with all fats it is important that we use them mindfully. For cooking purposes just a few drops is already enough - you don't need to drown your vegetables in oil to make them edible.

To conclude, certain oils do provide health benefits if used in a mindful manner. However, whenever you can, choose the real fruit (nuts, seeds, avocado etc). Stick to the four oils mentioned above and make sure you read the labels, how your oil has been produced and where it comes from. You can find more information on what you have to look out for in the production process of your oils in my other post.

Let me know your thoughts and what oils/fats you are using in your kitchen and why.

Nurture your happiness