Oils, fats and healthy diet, it’s a never-ending story. What shall be used for frying, for cooking, what should one use in salads and what to put on our body?
When you ask nutrition specialists about oils and fats, each one will give you a different answer. Coconut oil, for example, is a hot topic, as some people praise it but others see it as a fatty archenemy. Don’t look for for general guidelines in this article, but rather see it as my personal opinion regarding what I like to use and why.
Number one, that is always present in my kitchen. You can also see it in majority of my recipes. Why? It is incredibly versatile. It can be used raw or also as a frying oil. In comparison with other oils, it is stable in high temperatures. That means that it keeps all of its benefits EVEN when used for frying. You can use it to fry pancakes, eggs or meat. I personally enjoy the mild coconut taste in everything. However, if you are not a fan of it, there are certain variations on the market that actually don’t have the coconut taste to them, but in my opinion, you don’t know what you are missing out on! My favorite is this 5 minute lemon icing or this amazing cinnamon-banana bread.
Coconut oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory bodies that help reduce bloating, bacteria and mold. It also immediately boosts your energy levels, which is the reason why some people like to add it to their coffee.
I use it the most for cooking but also for my whole body. I barely put it on my face (careful here, coconut oil is quite heavy) but I definitely use it after a bath on my dry skin. It is my no 1. in hair care routine. It might not be for everyone, especially if you have fine straight hair but if you have dry (and curly as me) hair, you can massage it into the ends as much as you please. Sometimes I use it as an oil treatment before I wash my hair.
Ghee is clarified butter – by using this technique you separate the butterfat from the milk solids. It’s easy to prepare at home, watch out for a tutorial soon! It is very popular in Ayurvedic medicine, which believes that ghee improves our energy sources and immunity. What olive oil is to Italy, ghee is to India. Similar to coconut oil, it is very stable even in temperatures as high as 250°C. Whenever I have it on hand at home, I use it for frying. I have recently discovered ghee with turmeric during my visit to a farmer’s market and I simply had to buy it. Ghee can also be added to different dips, to purees for more subtle taste or to desserts.
Extra virgin olive oil
My staple I use when preparing salads and pesto. You can also use it for frying but the truth is that the frying process destroys important antioxidants and therefore it makes no sense to pay such a high price for this oil when all the benefits simply evaporate.
Cold pressed sesame oil contains vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, vitamin K and others. It reduces cholesterol and lowers high blood pressure. It is stable under high and low temperatures therefore it may be used for frying as well as in salads. It has very rich and distinct sesame flavor. I like to use it in my vegetable stir-fry with tofu and sesame seeds. And I also add it to salads when I feel like it.
I have yet to try it in the kitchen but it is my number one oil for body care. It is not as heavy and greasy as coconut oil and therefore it has a privileged spot in my nighttime skin care routine. I also rub it on my whole body after I get out of the bathtub. My hair is no different. It also acts as a base for all essential oils I use in my yoga practice. That is actually how I came across it for the first time. I can’t wait to experiment with it and prepare my own lovely smelling face and body mix because unlike coconut oil, it has no smell to it.
What about you and oils? Share your favorite ones in the comment section below!