My Whole Food Journey 8.2.10 Clean Eating Oils

Since my family has been making some new food choices in hopes of living a longer/healthier life we have adopted a few “food rules.” Make no mistake, we ENJOY eating, we eat meat, AND we live on a budget – but we are not deprived. This may or may not be similar to your life style… and that is okay. But, here I will share a rule that we have adopted. You can adopt this rule too, or not. Either way, it will be okay with me. =)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Coconut Oil

Last week I wrote about why my family chooses butter over margarine and other spreads. My reasons for choosing butter (besides being a REAL & natural food)  are that it contains vitamins, minerals, and linoleic, lauric and butyric acids (all needed in our bodies), and, yes, cholesterol – which is also needed for brain development, cell elasticity and healthy intestines.  So, butter in moderation is the choice for me!   But, Melinda, one of my readers left a comment about how she also uses extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) instead of butter.  This triggered this weeks post!  In addition to using butter I also use other natural oils that have health benefits too!

When choosing fats, olive oil is a healthy choice. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, a healthier type of fat that can lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels in your blood.  According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consuming about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day may reduce your risk of heart disease. You can get the most benefit by substituting olive oil for saturated fats rather than just adding more olive oil to your diet.  All types of olive oil contain monounsaturated fat, but “extra-virgin” or “virgin” olive oils are the least processed forms, so they’re the most heart healthy. Those types contain the highest levels of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that also can promote heart health.

I use extra virgin olive oil for sauteing vegetables and chicken.  I also use it for making hummus and salad dressings.  Some people are leery of frying in olive oil or have heard that you can’t because it has a high smoke point but I fry fish in it all the time and it is delicious and light!  I just pour a little in my skillet and then pop my floured fish fillets right in.  It is fabulous in my fish piccata!

I also use organic coconut oil for frying in my deep fryer.  One of the “good fats” that makes up about 50% of coconut oil, is lauric acid. Lauric acid is a rare medium-chain fatty acid found in mother’s milk. It is now being shown to have anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties.  Besides being a healthy oil to fry in, coconut oil is also good for the skin!  Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin car and can be used to create your own skin care!

If you are a new reader you might want to read some of my older “My Whole Food Journey” posts HERE.

Have you got questions? Are you on your own quest to eat wholesome and/or organic? If you’ve been shopping a little differently as well and the labels have got your brain in a fog… email me or drop me a comment here and I’ll be happy to help you find the answers your looking for! Sometimes shopping in a whole foods store can be overwhelming and leave you with more questions than when you came in!
*Thanks to Michael Pollan and Sustainable Echo for some of the research here.

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Comments

  1. Do you extra virgin coconut oil or just coconut oil?

    I am loving these posts!

  2. I learned so much and am encouraged by what you wrote! Coconut oil and grapeseed oil are now on my grocery list. I’m thankful you’ve taken this track and I am enjoying following/learning from your journey toward more healthful living!

  3. I am catching up on your posts and wanted to say we LOVE EVOO and grapeseed oil at our house. We stopped frying, starting baking, and changed over to EVOO about three or four years ago. We then turned to grapeseed oil about a year ago when we heard that it does not have the High Flash Point issue like EVOO. Even though it is an expensive oil we love to use it when cooking things like eggs and sometimes even potatoes. Don’t know what they the culinary world would think of that but it something that has worked great for us.

  4. I love your idea about frying in coconut oil. All fryer type devices were banned from our house years ago, but the coconut oil idea intrigues me enough to think about bringing one in again to cook things like french fries and tator tots that we have been baking in the oven.

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