Best Cooking Oils, Smoke Point is Important Why?

19 03 2010

Fish Cooked in the right oil provides much needed nutrients with fantastic flavor

There are many cooking oils to choose from when considering oils used to cook meals.  Also, when selecting oils it is important to understand how overheating the oil can ruin the health property benefits the body might receive otherwise.

 There are top cooking oil contenders rich in Oleic acid adding a greater health benefit to the diet (read the full story, Wisdom of Consuming Oleic Acid.  In short, Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated omega 9-fatty acid found in animal and vegetable.  Olive oil, like a few other cooking oils is “highest” in this healthy heart, anti-oxidant and other disease curing properties; for example a principle ingredient in Lorenso’s oil.  When considering cooking oil, one should think about quality of taste, cooking Smoke Point (SP) and health benefits.  Smoking point is important why?  Because high cooking temperatures denaturizes the oil.  Meaning the good stuff in the oil like oleic acid can be ruined by the heat and also change the taste of the food you consume.  The food itself when overcooked can also become denaturized by reducing the health benefits of vitamins and minerals.  Smoke point is a cooking temperature when reached begins to burn the oil.  Smoke is a byproduct of burning oil and denaturizing begins at this point.  Smoke point should be considered when selecting your cooking oils for baking, sautéing and frying.  Also select cooking oils that are unsaturated fats with good omega acid properties to benefit lowering and balanced cholesterol maintenance. 

 When oil begins to burn it begins releasing carcinogens in the environment.  When this happens, open the windows dump the oil and start over.  So when cooking between 225 – 510 degrees requires knowledge of the right oil for the right dish to gain the health benefit without reaching smoke point and unknowingly subjecting those in the space to carcinogens.  I personally love the taste of Virgin olive oil and use it for just about everything I cook, except when frying.   Olive oil has a medium smoke point of 325degrees (which I rarely cook over this temp) and is high in monounsaturated fats, omega-9, and used for light sautéing.  It is also very good for fish, chicken, lean beef, pesto and salad dressings.  Olive oil adds a very flavorful taste to all dishes.

 The following represents the top healthy cooking oils with SP Temperature listed, etc:  Canola (SP425, good for diabetics, baking and sautéing); walnut (SP400, omega 3, good for diabetics, good for baking); grape seed (SP420, polyunsaturated with low fat, all purpose grilling); sunflower & safflower (SP 450-460, polyunsaturated with low fat, all purpose and high heat oil); Almond (SP495, monounsaturated fat, high heat cooking);  Avocado  (SP510, monounsaturated fat, for frying);  peanut (SP350, monounsaturated fat for light sautéing); Flaxseed (SP225, omega 3, good for diabetics, do not cook over heat, mix into dishes). 

 One also needs to be aware that when reducing saturated fats too much also lowers the good HDL’s when attempting to lower cholesterol.  High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease…  Read the full story, Successful Weight Loss Based in Blood Chemistry Fuel.  In short, “too little” saturated fat in the diet replaced by carbohydrates is causing an epidemic of obesity and secondary health issues.  Baking with healthy cooking oils and reducing animal products in diet is not necessarily the “complete” answer to the epidemic of obesity and high cholesterol.  Extreme measures in shifting diet from proteins to predominately a high carbohydrates diet appears to be creating other health problems.  It would appear moderation; balanced nutrition and exercise once again seem to be the silver bullet to optimum health.  Cooking oil knowledge is just one ingredient to overall body-mind health that can make a big difference in how you look and feel daily.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Wisdom of Consuming Oleic Acid

23 01 2010

Wisdom is Passed on Through Generations of the Wise. One Would Be Wise to Seek Council

Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated omega 9-fatty acid found in animal and vegetables.  It is considered a healthy source of fat and is commonly used to replace animal saturated fats in the diet.  One of the chief sources of oleic acid comes from olive oil.  Those that consume, or recommend consuming oleic acid should be considered wise by knowing something that all of us should carry in our centurion war chests.  Or, maybe many were fortunate enough to be weaned on specific dietary products from day one based on their geography.  Like Europe, where the Mediterranean diet uses olive oil, “emblematic of the region.”  Where the diet mainly consists of fruit, vegetable, legumes, cereal, meat and fish with moderate consumption of red wine and “tasty” olive oil is the main grease. 

 So what is the big deal with oleic acid and why should this be part of your centurion preventative ill-health war chest?  Oleic acid is highly concentrated in specific types of cooking oils, where much health benefit can be gained from consuming these oils.  Grape seed, Canola, sesame, poppy seed and peanut oil also have high concentrations of Oleic acid.  Olive oil, like the other oils high in oleic acid have many health benefits, such as:  May boost memory, reduce blood pressure,  lower cholesterol, reduced risk of diabetes and other suspected disease curing properties, while promoting antioxidant production in the body.  Oleic acid is the principle ingredient in Lorenzo’s oil.  Developed for young boys that came down with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) a disease similar to MS (multiple sclerosis) where the nervous systems integrity of the myelin sheath becomes compromised.  In 1992 the movie “Lorenzo’s oil” was produced telling a true story about the powerful health properties of oleic acid.  See the link below if interest in watching the movie. 

 “At the age of 7, Lorenzo Odone was a normal child.  Strange things began to happen to him.  He would have blackouts, memory lapses and other strange mental phenomenon.  Eventually, he was diagnosed suffering with ALD, an extremely rare incurable degenerative brain disorder.   Doctor’s were not helping so his father decides to learn all about it and tack the problem himself.  Lorenzo’s oil does not cure, but slows the worsening, or progression of the disease.  Just like consuming olive oil can slow down the progression of heart disease.” 

 Five thousand years ago, Crete a Greek Island began production of olive oil that has a heritage tied to our fine California olive orchards where much of the olive oil you purchase today comes to your local supermarket.  California is a major producer of Tuscan oil based on centuries-old ratio of Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino and Maurino olives providing those that consume the oil with many health benefits.  Oleic acid is also used in a number of soaps and cosmetics.   The Cancer Society states your skin is the largest organ in the body and should not be neglected during the winter.  Tip – Olive oil has been used as a natural moisturizer practiced in Italy and Greece for centuries. 

 Recommendations:  Use cooking oil high in oleic acid and moisturize like the Greeks.  Get a Mediterranean cook book and prepare meals for your family where health benefits and centurion active lifestyles are realized.  Be sure to read “Ikaria Lifestyle Boasts Longest Living People.” 

 References: 

  1. Oleic acid  http://wn.wkipedia.org/wki/oleic_acid
  2. What is Oleic Acid?  http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-oleic-acid.htm
  3. History of Olive Oil  http://www.lykovouno.com/History-s/32.htm
  4. California’s Gold Nector http://www.insidebayarea.com/bay-area-living/ci_14050501?source=rss
  5. Lorenzo’s Oil Movie,   http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104756/

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Signup for your Free eNewsletter.