The 5 Best Healthy Cooking Oils

 

 

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Try any of these healthy, versatile fat sources,

and you’ll feel like you struck it rich.

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Unless you’ve been conked in the head by an olive branch, you know that “no fat” is out and healthy fats are in. Good fats help to maintain body tissues, they provide an excellent energy source, and they help normalize blood sugar for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. And that’s not to say anything of the well-studied long-term benefits they provide for your heart and circulatory system.

But if your oil arsenal is limited to olive oil in salads and on chicken, and vegetable oil for frying, you’re missing out. Other seed and fruit oils can add a range of savory flavors and textures to your menu, helping you make the most of your meager cooking abilities without having to cheat your health.

Whatever your cooking demands, there’s an oil for that. Let’s meet the rising stars which should be in your recipes.

1. Sesame Oil                    5-healthy-cooking-oils-3b
Sesame oil is ideal for frying and sautéing because it can handle high temperatures without breaking down. It also imparts a wonderful flavor that can really make your favorite dishes pop. This tasty oil isn’t just for cooking though. It is also great in salad dressings. Makes me hungry just thinking about it…
In addition to its value in cooking, sesame oil has numerous health benefits as well. It is made up of monounsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats, which means it may lower your LDL cholesterol. It is also very high in antioxidants and vitamin E and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown sesame oil may actually lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. There is also evidence that it could inhibit cancer cell growth.
Oh, and did I mention it also helps you lose flab? That’s right. In one study, researchers noted “a significant reduction was noted in body weight and body mass index (BMI)” when study participants used sesame oil in place of all other cooking oils and they believed this was due to the poly-unsaturated fatty acids, which increased the “satiety” hormone leptin in the blood.
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2. Avocado Oil or Grapeseed Oil
Avocado oil, surprisingly, comes from the actual avocado flesh and not the seed. Like sesame oil, it is great for sautéing and salad dressings. It has an unusually high heat tolerance so you don’t have to worry about it going rancid while you cook. And because it is more than 50 percent monounsaturated fat, it is great for your heart as well.iv It may also protect your cells from cancer-causing free radicals.v
Grapeseeds oil is wonderful drizzled over a salad or veggies and is good for sautéing and baking. In addition, it is a potent antioxidant. It is rich in vitamin E, flavonoids and linoleic acid. Because it is high in poly-unsaturated fats, it may also help to prevent diabetes.
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3. Grass-Fed Butter
Okay, this isn’t exactly an oil, but neither was the margarine we talked about in yesterday’s article. Thankfully, if you threw out that nasty margarine, grass-fed butter makes a healthy and tasty alternative.
Butter contains lecithin, which helps your body metabolize cholesterol. It is also rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A and E. Grass-fed butter, in particular, is also a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), the fat-fighting oil which is also known to be heart healthy and inhibit cancer-causing substances and belly fat.vi,vii,viii Really… eating real butter made from the milk of cows that are allowed to roam free on pasture and eat grass can help you lose belly fat.
So what makes grass-fed butter so much better than regular old butter? Well that’s easy. When cows are fed their natural diet, they are healthier. Healthier cows produce healthier milk that’s richer in natural super-nutrients like CLA. Which means healthier milk products like grass-fed butter. So you can feel like you’re indulging, but really you are taking care of your body. It doesn’t get much better than that.
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4. Coconut Oil
We’ve discussed coconut oil before. It is a very stable oil that can handle high-heat cooking and it is great for your heart because it can help lower LDL cholesterol. It also contains lauric acid, which converts to monolaurin — a fatty acid that helps you fight off viruses and infections.
Perhaps best of all, coconut oil is also shown to help with weight loss. This makes it a great addition to your collection of cooking oils. It is ideal for baking and offers an amazing, tropical flavor, too.
Macadamia Nut Oil
5. Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia nut oil is very high in monounsaturated fatty acids and is also antioxidant rich. It is also a very stable oil that does not easily oxidize when heated, so like the other oils mentioned, it is great to cook with. And if you have ever tasted a macadamia nut, you have to know it is going to impart some wonderful flavor to your meals. That said, the flavor is light enough to not overpower other foods. I use this oil to cook eggs all the time.
This oil has been found to improve cholesterol levels and even contribute to weight loss.xiv It also has an ideal balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This balance is important to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, cancer and inflammatory diseases.xv
See? You have lots of healthy options! Which ones are you going to try first?
Enjoy!

Your Guide to Living Well with Heart Disease

 

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Having heart disease or a heart attack can be a wake-up call. But with changes to your diet, physical activity level, and other daily habits, you can improve your heart health and overall health.

Whether you are working to manage heart disease or have experienced a heart attack, you’re understandably concerned about your health. The good news is that by adopting a healthy lifestyle — including a balanced diet and regular exercise for better weight management — and by working with your doctor, you can control high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar to improve your heart health.

Stop Smoking for a Boost to Heart Health

We all know cigarette smoking is bad for our lungs, and it’s also at the top of the list of heart disease risks. Among other harmful effects, smoking raises blood pressure and increases the likelihood of blood clotting. It also decreases HDL (good) cholesterol and makes exercising more difficult. Fortunately it’s never too late to stop smoking and help limit the progression of heart disease.

 Control High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Keeping high blood pressure and high cholesterol in check are two more ways to help control heart disease. Approximately one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, which can damage the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. High cholesterol is another serious heart disease risk factor, and the higher your cholesterol number, the greater the danger. Follow your doctor’s orders to get both under control through diet, exercise, and medication, if prescribed.

 

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Weight Management Is a Must

Weight management is an important step in limiting heart disease. To determine if you’re overweight, calculate your body mass index. If you need to lose weight, work on eating fewer calories than you burn and avoiding foods high in calories and low in nutrition, such as soda and sweets. Ask your doctor about consulting a dietitian for help if you need it.

 

Get Regular Cardiovascular Exercise
Do not use the excuse ‘I have heart disease’ to limit physical activity. Even after a heart attack patients should get back on an exercise program guided by their doctor. Recommends those with heart disease walk as much as they can at first and then increase that amount over time. Walking will also help with weight management.
Manage Diabetes to Lower Heart Risks
Diabetes is another crucial heart disease risk factor. In fact, people who have diabetes are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke. And those with diabetes who do have a heart attack often have a more serious incident. Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can help keep your heart and arteries healthy. If you have diabetes, consider consulting with a certified diabetes educator for help designing a balanced diet and exercise program.
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Cut Back on the Salt
The American Heart Association recently reduced the amount of salt recommended for everyone to just 1,500 mg a day, which is about two-thirds of a teaspoon. This is down from the previous recommendation of 2,300 mg of salt per day. Salt contributes to heart disease risks, such as high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about your personal limit for managing heart disease. As you’re cutting back, keep in mind that much of the salt in our diet actually comes from pre-packaged items rather than the salt shaker. Culprits include canned soups, frozen dinners, and cured meats — always check the nutritional chart on food packages for the sodium content.

 

Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much alcohol will not only thwart weight management goals with unwanted calories, but can also worsen heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, men should limit alcohol intake to no more than two drinks a day, while women should have only one. By watching alcohol consumption, it is possible to reduce this serious heart disease risk.

 

Control Stress for a Calmer Heart
I believe the most overlooked element in preventing heart disease and heart attacks is stress. The simple fact of the matter is we need to get stress under control to stay healthy and productive. Whether you try meditation, yoga, guided imagery, or another mind-body approach, relaxation techniques can be an important tool in keeping heart disease under control.

Get Educated About Heart Disease
Knowledge is power, and there are many ways you can learn more about heart disease and protect your heart from further damage. Your doctor is a good source of information, but take advantage of other resources as well. Check out the American Heart Association for information about diet to exercise advice to local chapters. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health is another great resource, as is the Everyday Health Heart Health center.

Can Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight?

 

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There have been many claims about the effectiveness of a lemon juice diet, where a person takes a squirt of lemon juice in flat warm water in morning daily to effect weight loss. Are these claims true? It would seem so in the light of evidence pertaining to the effectiveness of lemons in improving digestion and helping the body regulate the absorption of sugar. That’s not all, it has also been found that Vitamin C is a great asset to anyone who is serious about weight loss simply because it helps the body absorb calcium into its fat cells, which in turn helps you lose weight.

How Does Lemon Juice Help Weight Loss?
It’s amazing how a simple fruit like a lemon can be so effective in helping the body regulate its metabolism and sugar absorption, in a manner that helps you lose extra weight. The secret lies in the “acidity” content in a lemon. Lemons are rich in citric acid, so when you take a glass of lemon juice in plain warm water first thing in the morning, you introduce healthy natural digestive aid into your stomach. The citric acid, from lemons, end up interacting with the other acids and enzymes in your digestive tract which results in a healthy and problem free digestion.

Cleans out Your Waste Better.

If your colon is not cleansed properly, there is lingering waste that can build up and, among other things, contribute to raising the risk of colon cancer over time. This buildup of lingering waste also adds weight to your body, so if you drink lemon water regularly, it’s cleaned out of your bowels with greater frequency. The result of this is that you will lose some weight just from the removal of this lingering waste. Lemon water also helps out the digestive system by reducing the chances for diarrhea and constipation, because it promotes fluid bowel functions.

Lowers Absorption of Sugars: It has been studied that even a little lemon can help you lower the absorption of sugars from the food you eat simply because of its high acidic content. You can go one step further and eat some lemon peels along with the juice, this acts like a double whammy on weight gain, because the pectin present in the peels helps in weight loss by becoming a gel forming substance in your stomach which reduces the sugar absorption from the food you eat.

 

Researched Facts: A research at Arizona State University indicated that people who stock up on foods that are high in vitamins, such as lemons, oranges, grapes and kiwi fruit, as less likely to gain weight in comparison with people whose intake of Vitamin C is on the low side.

Helps Absorption of Calcium: It is well proven that lemon juice accentuates the acidity of the digestive system and this helps the body in the absorption of calcium from the foods you eat, and this calcium is then stored up in the fat cells. It has been studied that the more the calcium content in fat cell, the more its ability to burn fat. So this another benefit of lemon juice for weight loss.

How to Introduce Lemon Juice into Your Body?

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There are many different ways in which you can introduce lemon juice into your body in a way that helps you lose weight. Some people propagate the use of lemon juice with apple cinder vinegar, while some swear by the effectiveness of lemon juice in honey, with warm water, for weight loss. All these methods are usually tried and tested and its effectiveness is not in doubt. Whether you drink lemon juice with plain warm water or you mix it up with other natural ingredients like honey, it’s effectiveness remains the same. If you are serious about weight loss, then you need to befriend the lemon. Lemon water helps you lose weight naturally and helps your body improve its immunity and digestion as a bonus.