Unveiling the Truth About Olive Oil

By Tom Seest

Is Olive Oil the Healthiest Option?

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Vegetable oils have long been an integral part of most people’s diets, from cooking and salad dressing to drizzles for salads. Vegetable oils come from plants and provide numerous health benefits.
“Vegetable oil” refers to a combination of oils, but when purchasing at your grocery store, soybean or corn oils tend to dominate. Extra-virgin olive oil may offer an even better solution, improving heart health while lowering cholesterol levels.

Is Olive Oil the Healthiest Option?

Is Olive Oil the Healthiest Option?

Is Canola Oil Really the Best Choice?

Canola oil is a versatile, neutral-flavored cooking oil produced from the seeds of the Brassica napus variety napus. It boasts the lowest level of saturated fat among common cooking oils while having high concentrations of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid – an omega-3 form known to provide cardiovascular benefits – making canola one of the few vegetable oils with such content. Canola manufacturers are approved to make an FDA-qualified health claim that switching over from saturated sources may reduce their risks.
Canola oil has a variety of uses in food preparations, with most often being used in home kitchens for sauteing and baking. It is relatively cheap and stable oil that boasts an extremely high smoke point – this means that it can withstand high heat without breaking down under strain.
Canola oil is widely recognized for its low erucic acid content, making it one of the safest cooking oils available. However, refining and bleaching processes may produce potentially toxic chemicals like hexane and hexanal that may be used as deodorizers. Furthermore, conventional varieties contain trans fats linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity – additional risks.
As it stands, new high-oleic varieties of canola oil derived from non-GMO rapeseed have recently entered the market and are currently under study for possible benefits to heart health, particularly when used for high-heat cooking such as stir-frying.
As with any cooking oil, canola oil should be read carefully before purchasing and avoided if hydrogenated – this process converts healthy polyunsaturates to trans fats that have been linked with obesity, coronary artery disease and other heart problems. Organic canola is best as its production avoids genetically modified plants which have the potential of creating trans fats which have also been linked with obesity and coronary artery disease.

Is Canola Oil Really the Best Choice?

Is Canola Oil Really the Best Choice?

Is Sesame Oil the Ultimate Superfood?

Sesame oil is a versatile ingredient found in Asian cuisine and has become increasingly popular across Western cuisine as well. While most commonly used as cooking oil, sesame oil can also be incorporated into salad dressings, sauces and marinades as a delicious ingredient that contains heart-healthy fats as well as antioxidants to combat inflammation and protect skin against sun damage.
As there are different varieties of sesame oil available – raw and toasted – both varieties offer their own advantages for different uses. An unrefined variety with a lighter hue and subtler flavor works best as a cooking oil; its high smoke point allows use over low to medium-heat cooking applications like stir-frying and sauteing. A toasted version with its deeper brown hue and rich nuttier notes may add subtle sesame-y notes to dressings and sauces for an additional punch of sesame taste.
Both varieties of sesame oil contain beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats that may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, potentially decreasing your risk for disease. Since sesame oil contains high levels of calories and saturated fat, consumption should be limited to maximize its effect.
When purchasing sesame oil, look for bottles marked as “refined” or “light.” Steer clear of those marked “toasted.” While regular, untoasted sesame oil has a higher smoke point and can be heated more thoroughly than other oils, its polyunsaturated fats may oxidize and generate free radicals within your body, leading to chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Choose cold-pressed, unrefined sesame oil for optimal health benefits. This type of sesame oil has less oxidation and will preserve more nutrients. When purchasing this type of oil, choose dark bottles with opaque caps so as to reduce light exposure, then store them in cool, dry areas.

Is Sesame Oil the Ultimate Superfood?

Is Sesame Oil the Ultimate Superfood?

Is Grapeseed Oil the Superior Choice for Your Health?

Grapeseed oil is both an attractive beauty staple and nutritional food source, often touted as a healthy vegetable oil. Crafted from the pressed seeds of pressed grapes – a byproduct of winemaking – grapeseed oil offers multiple health and beauty benefits when taken internally and externally, from inflammation reduction to strengthening hair and nails. When applied as a skin toner, its benefits range from acne flare-up prevention and balance oil production balance reduction and fine lines reduction to non-clog pores moisturization benefits.
Grapeseed oil, an abundant natural source of Vitamin E with powerful antioxidant properties, has proven itself to be effective at lowering cholesterol levels and may help protect against heart disease according to studies. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory qualities aid circulation while potentially helping avoid blood clots from occurring.
Plescia notes that grapeseed oil’s high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids makes it an ideal solution for people suffering from acne-prone skin. Linoleic acid found in this type of fat fortifies skin barriers, helps decrease water loss from skin, reduce redness and decrease redness while having anti-inflammatory properties and decreasing sun sensitivity.
When applied topically, avocado oil absorbs quickly and is lightweight – meaning no clogged pores! Perfect for all skin types (particularly oily or sensitive ones ), it’s a gentle alternative to heavier oils like olive or avocado, which may irritate sensitive surfaces of the face. Furthermore, avocado oil is popularly used as an anti-aging product as it slows the look of aging by smoothening and firming skin.
Water can have a high smoke point, making it suitable for searing, sauteing and stir-frying. Because water doesn’t possess its own distinct flavor profile it pairs nicely with other oils in recipes like homemade mayonnaise (other oils can overpower its creamy consistency).
When purchasing grapeseed oil for cooking purposes, opt for organic expeller-pressed variety as this method removes most trans fats while protecting its molecular makeup by heat treatment. Also combine it with healthier fats such as ghee and grass-fed butter for optimal nutritional benefits.

Is Grapeseed Oil the Superior Choice for Your Health?

Is Grapeseed Oil the Superior Choice for Your Health?

Why is Sunflower Oil a Top Choice for Health?

Sunflower oil, found on grocery store shelves as one of the many cooking oils, is widely considered heart-healthy. Packed full of heart-beneficial polyunsaturates like linoleic and oleic acids – two vital fatty acids linked with cardiovascular benefits – sunflower oil contains plenty of these beneficial lipids; however, excessive omega-6 consumption has been linked with inflammation, weight gain and heart disease in humans.
When purchasing sunflower oil, make sure that it is produced using cold pressing methods; this means the oil was extracted without using heat, which prevents its degradation by high heat levels and the release of toxic compounds into food and skin. Furthermore, organic varieties will not contain pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Typically, refined sunflower oil contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids which are unstable. Instead, opt for cold-pressed sunflower oil with high oleic acid content – this variety has the most stable fatty acids and can withstand higher heats without degradation.
Sunflower oil contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. This can help protect cells in the body and reduce inflammation that could otherwise lead to cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Furthermore, the oil is non-comedogenic – meaning it won’t clog pores or cause acne – making it perfect for makeup artists’ use as it reduces dark circles under the eyes and decreases dark circles under the eye. Unfortunately however, pregnant or nursing mothers shouldn’t take sunflower oil due to potential interference with hormone secretions.

Why is Sunflower Oil a Top Choice for Health?

Why is Sunflower Oil a Top Choice for Health?

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