Best Oils to Cook With for Weight Loss

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Cooking oil might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of weight loss—after all, nobody got skinny eating deep fried anything—but oils can help with weight loss, and not all oils are created equal.

To help you demystify cooking oils we’ve put together a list of popular oils, their benefits, their smoke points and other important details in terms of oil for weight loss.

Best Cooking Oils for Weight Loss

cooking oil 1Olive Oil
This popular oil is widely considered one of the best readily-available oils on the market. Its Mediterranean upbringing has given the oil a romantic pedigree unlike many of its vegetable-based counterparts. This sexy little oil is said to increase life expectancy in the Mediterranean, and is rich in flavonols, lignans, polyphenols and healthy oleic acid. Olive oil can lower blood pressure and cholesterol to boot. It draws 75% of its fat from monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid, compared to canola oil’s 60%, soybean’s 50%, corn oil’s 60%, sunflower oil’s 20% and safflower oil’s 15%.

The key to olive oil is in choosing a high-quality, extra-virgin version and use it on low heat only. The oil has a very low smoke point and thus begins to break down quickly when overheated. Ideally it should be used raw in salad dressings and dips.

Smoke point: 200 – 400°F (depending on the type of olive oil).

Next: Canola Oil

cooking oil 2Canola Oil
Canola Canola oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil and is therefore preferred for meals that require a higher heat to cook with. Canola oil contains some omega-3s (which olive oil doesn’t) and is high in monounsaturated fats as well.
Smoke point: 200°F if unrefined, 350°F if semi-refined, 400°F if refined.

Next: Rice Bran Oil

 

cooking oil 3Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil is a popular cooking oil in the health-nut circuits as it is free of trans fats. It also contains plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, lowers cholesterol and boosts the immune system.
Rice bran oil has a high smoke point as well, making it as versatile as it is healthy. Many restaurants have switched to rice bran oil for their deep frying, knowing that it is the healthiest of all fatty evils.
Smoke point: 415°F.

Next: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap due to being so high in saturated fat—92% to be exact. But it is a delicious oil that can be used healthily in moderation. It is high in lauric acid, a product found in breast milk that has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil has also been found to speed up metabolism.
When purchasing coconut oil, look for extra-virgin varieties. It has a high smoke point so it can be used for high-heat cooking.
Smoke point: 350°F

Next: Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed OilFlaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is another oil that is popular in healthy circles. It is full of omega-3 ALA, and boasts more of it than any other oil. It is a great oil for weight loss as it is low in carbs. It is high in nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium and manganese. It is also high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Flaxseed oil is also high in lignans, phytochemicals and antioxidants—making it one of the healthiest oils.
The only downside to this oil is that it lasts about 6 weeks, even in the fridge.  It also has a low smoke point so cook with it on low heat to enjoy all its benefits.
Smoke point: 225°F.

While you might generally avoid frying, it’s still important to keep in mind that you can be strategic in choosing oil for weight loss. Different cooking oils serve different purposes; some are better to cook with at high temperatures, and others are far more nutritional but best served cold.

 


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