Most of you have heard about the Mediterranean diet and the much praised use of olive oil. Olive oil is a great, healthy oil to use in its raw form, but you must not use it to cook with. More on that later, but first let’s find out what olive oil is and how it is made.
Olive oil is made from the fruit of the olive tree. There are several types of olive oil and the type, in part, determines how the oil was made and what it should be used for in cooking or other genres.
3 Types of Olive Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil
Although olive trees have been around for thousands and upon thousands of years. The olive tree only made it to our continent in the 1560’s when it began to be cultivated in Mexico. After that time, a few years later, olive farming spread to California, Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
One of the biggest dangers surrounding olive oil is that it begins to decompose at around 200F. Research also shows that olive oil heated repeatedly or to a very high level can oxidize and become hydrogenated.
An important thing to consider with any oil is its smoke point. The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil actually begins to smoke which is an indication of decomposition.
You’ll want to know the smoke temperature of the various oils so you can select the correct oil for the cooking job at hand.
Coconut Oil for Cooking
Coconut oil is derived from the kernel or meat of the coconut from the coconut palm. Coconut oil has been the primary source of fat for millions of people across the world for thousands of years. This slow to oxidize, therefore resistant to rancidity oil is one of the best oils not just for cooking but for overall body health.
Coconut oil is beneficial in many ways; almost too many to mention. In brief, coconut oil is helpful to the body in the following ways:
- Hair Care
- Skin Care
- Heart Disease Prevention
- Weight Loss Aid (Short and medium fatty acid chains help with weight loss as well as its ability to help balance the thyroid and enzymes in the body.)
- Digestive Aid (The antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial traits of coconut oil fight off bacteria that cause indigestion.)
- Immunity Booster
The main reasons why coconut oil is so healthy is the content of the following components:
- Lauric Acid
- Capric Acid
- Caprylic Acid
These components have vital properties that make coconut oil protect the body by utilizing the following characteristics:
These properties are what aid in fighting fungus and viruses in the body leading to improved health and vitality. In my opinion, cooking with coconut oil is one of the smartest health choices you can make.
There are many oils to choose from today; good, bad, and ugly. It’s important to make an educated decision about what oils you choose to cook with as well as what oils you allow to be in the foods you are eating.
Check your labels and look for high quality oils that are not hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. It’s vital to select oils that are good for you and not fall into the media hype surrounding the next oil that you should ban from your diet.
Every time you turn on the news there’s a story about what type of oil you should avoid and which type you should use. Discover the truth about cooking oils and which ones are the best choice for you and your family.