Oils To Cook With This Thanksgiving
“I’ve got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, chicken, turkey, dressing...you name it”!
It’s about to go down! We are 6 days away from Thanksgiving Day, and that much closer to tasting some of our Thanksgiving Dinner favorites! Although this year’s dinner may look slightly different, I can’t fight the feeling of excitement as I reminisce about the warmth this time of year brings.
Just last year, the mention of Thanksgiving Dinner invoked mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement as the family’s best cooks began prepping, weeks in advance, for the most epic Thanksgiving meal ever.
Fortunately, this year’s turnout is looking more like 1 to 2 days of preparation. Not to mention, the lighter crowds offer more autonomy for the chef to cook healthier options. So, without further ado, let’s get into these cooking oils.
A great meal is only as good as the oil or fat its cooked in. Typical cooking oils are Butter, Margarine, Canola Oil, Vegetable Oil, or Extra Virgin Olive Oil. None of which are created equal. Each performs best at their melting points, and produces a different flavor than the other. Some lack in health benefits, while others seem to carry the weight of others on the nutrition scale. Plus, there are oils that leave tons of room for more sustainable options.
When it comes to oils, there are some underlying methods of oil production that might be stripping our ecosystem of necessary minerals and crops. Some require increased water utilization. Others limit viable water sources due to contamination caused by pesticides. Then there's the concern of unfair labor or labor laws and the depletion of non-renewable resources.
The best solutions are opting for organic, fair trade, cold-pressed, unrefined, and pure oils. Otherwise, we face the possibility that our oil consumption may hinder our health and the health of planet Earth.
To absorb the most benefits when cooking with oils and fats, we must observe the saturated fat levels present in each oil type to make sure it is on track with your recommended daily intake of saturated fats. Too much saturated fat may work against any health benefits and pronounce negative effects, like high cholesterol, weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health-related problems. These fats are found more so in butter, margarine (solid form), Ghee, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Animal Fat, and any oil or fat that is naturally solid at room temperature.
A safe rule of thumb when using fats and oils is consuming 10% or less of your daily calories as Saturated and Trans Fat, and keeping your total daily fat consumption between 25-30% of your daily calories. This amount includes Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats, which lower bad cholesterol levels, reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, and arterial damage, and promote healthy brain functions and cell growth.
Oils with higher Polyunsaturated Fat levels are Walnut, Safflower, Hemp Seed, Sunflower, Corn, Soybean, Chia Seed, and Flaxseed Oils. Oils rich in Monounsaturated fat are Peanut, Safflower, Canola, Avocado, Olive, Sunflower, and Sesame Oils.
Fun fact, oils from plant sources contain no cholesterol and are less likely to contain saturated fats. I’m not trying to convince you to go vegan or anything, but it does have its benefits.
Keep in mind, oil intake levels may vary based on one's age, sex, and physical activeness. Most women, 18 and up, should consume no more than 5 to 6 teaspoons of oil daily. Whereas men, 18 and up, may consume 6 to 7 teaspoons of oil daily.
If you loved this week’s blog and you learned something new, leave me a comment below, and don't forget to share this with others who are unsure of the best oils for their dietary needs! If you have any questions that weren’t covered, leave them in a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
*I am not a medical doctor or health professional. All content and media provided are for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.*