The simple 80/20 Vegetable Oil approach
Maybe you ask yourself, how to buy healthy oils for cooking without spending a fortune? Here again my simple 80:20 approach comes into play. No need to overcomplicate things. Focus on those 20 % of cooking oils that cover 80 % of your needs.
Week 1: Clever Selection
In the first week, keep it simple. For a lean approach, buy only three healthy oils to use. With a clever selection of three plant-based oils you can master already 80 % of your (healthy) staples. Buy additional oils only when you need them.
When buying healthy oils for cooking then olive oil should be number 1 on your list. I use it for almost all of my cooking needs. Olive oil is versatile enough for just about any type of cooking or salad dressing. Milder varieties are even great for baking. It contains many monounsaturated fatty acids. Make sure you are buying virgin and cold pressed olive oil to get it as clean as possible.
Important: Even the healthiest high-quality, extra-virgin olive oils will lose their exquisite flavors and healthy components if heated too high (over 365°F). So, it is best to use it for salads or for sautéing vegetables over medium heat. If you are serious about clean eating then cooking methods that require high heat like deep-frying or roasting will be an exception in your kitchen anyway.
Many people prefer the not so “clean” canola oil (from rapeseed) to use as a basic oil. It is usually processed to withstand high temperatures well, and has a mild flavor. Canola oil is great for cooking, baking, or using in dressings and sauces.
It contains the lowest saturated fat content of any oil, has a high level of the precious Omega 3 fats and complements olive oil regarding its purpose and components.
In order to avoid all genetic engineering, it is best to buy organic, cold pressed, non-GMO canola oil. It is still illegal to genetically engineer any certified organic product.
Although I use canola oil very seldom I prefer to buy organic canola oil for many reasons, including this one. But, be aware that cold-pressed canola oils have lower smoke points than GMO canola.
Sesame oil is the premier “flavor oil” for savory cooking and best used as a “seasoning”. Just the right amount adds a heavenly, nutty, undertone to sautéed vegetables, tofu, stir-fries and sauces. It has almost equal percentages of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
And how healthy is Coconut Oil?
When it comes to cooking, coconut oil is a great oil with a high smoke point. It is wonderful for stir-frys or as a dairy free replacement to butter. But it’s important to know that coconut oil contains around 90 percent saturated fat.
Although it is slightly different than the saturated fat you find in animal products it’s still important to keep your saturated fat intake under control.
So…should you have coconut oil at home?
But cooking should not be your primary reason for buying it! Coconut oil is „the Jack of all Trades“.
Many of my American friends and me too, are using coconut oil for almost everything you can imagine: As a skin moisturizer, as a wonderful deep conditioner, as a great massage oil, as an effective make up remover and many, many other things…
Week 2: Buying healthy oils for cooking – Moderation is Key
Do you love healthy oils?
Although healthy fat-rich foods are packed with nutrients, moderation is the best strategy. No matter how healthy the fat – these foods tend to be very high in calories.
Be sure to carefully watch your portions of healthy fats for maximum nutritional benefits, and adhere to recommended serving sizes. 3 tablespoons of good fat per day will help you remain slim and healthy.
7 easy ways to incorporate healthy fats in you nutrition
- combine healthy oils with Italian herbs for a bread dip
- add olive oil to your pasta sauce
- in place of butter, use liquid vegetable oils in cooking and at the table.
- use almond butter as a spread on bread instead of butter
- include nuts in your diet – follow week #14 challenge
- include oily fish in your diet as potent sources of omega-3 fatty acids (part of a future challenge)
- use Avocados in salads, dressings, sandwiches guacamole, or even as a delicious stand-alone snack.
Tell me your strategies for increasing your healthy oil consumption
What is your favorite cooking oil? How do you implement healthy oils into your daily diet? Please share your ideas and opinion below in the comments!