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Old 05-27-2006, 07:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane1415
...Coconut oil is by far a very healthy oil if not heated past 120 degrees...
I can't think of any conventional cooking methods where the oil is NOT heated past 120F. That pretty much makes coconut oil useless as a healthful cooking medium.
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:44 PM   #22
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I lead a simple life. I saute in olive oil. I wok in peanut oil. I deep fry in Canola oil. I flavor some of my Asian Fusion creations with a bit of sesame oil. That is the sum of all the oils I own. I don't worry about any of the others.
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I can't think of any conventional cooking methods where the oil is NOT heated past 120F. That pretty much makes coconut oil useless as a healthful cooking medium.
Even sous vide cooking methods call for the temperature to be at least 130-140 F. 120 F is about the temp. of hot water straight from the tap.
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Dove
... I'm pretty ignorant about most of these types of oil. I just don't have the time to research each one individually. Olive Oil claims to be healthy and there seems to be recent claims from Coconut oil makers that their product is healthy as well.

Can anyone clear this up or refer me to a reputable source of information.
First - look at the links that Jennyema gave you to look at the ratio of mono and poly unsaturated fats - and the saturated fats. In 25-words or less ... Monounsaturated fats lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and do not affect the HDL (good cholesterol). Polyunsaturated fats lower both the LDL and HDL. Saturated and trans-fats generally raise serum cholesterol. So, in my way of thinking, the higher the mono and the lower the poly and saturated - the better it is for you.

So - based on that that criteria - olive oil actually is one of the best for you.

Now, there are some claims by the coconut oil producers that the fatty acids in the satuated fats of coconut oil are different from the other oils (I would really have to spend about a week comparing the chromatographic analysis of each ....) but I'll just be happy to go with one claim ... "coconut oil is cholesterol neutral - it neither raises nor lowers any cholesterol levels".

Humm ... olive oil is about 75% monounsaturated (going to be lowering bad cholesterol in my blood) and coconut oil supposidly does nothing ... which would you think would be the healthier choice?

As far as smoke points of oils ... and the different charts vary quite a bit here ... basically - Sunflower oil is the lowest (392-F) ... followed by Corn (refined), Olive ("pure"), Peanut, Sesame, Soybean at 410-F, Rapeseed (Canola) at 437-F ... the highest is Avacado oil at 520-F. (ref: Cookwise by Shirley Corriher - page 159). I also found an interesting site by the folks sporting macademia nut oil ... they claimed EVOO smokes at 190-F. Humm ... Mario Batali claims that Italian's fry (350-365 F) in EVOO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane1415
The Saturated fat in Coconut oil is not the unhealthy type of saturated fat that is associated with palm kernal oil and the other tropical oils.
I would REALLY have to study this claim for a few weeks before I could agree or disagree ... and find scientific research NOT provided from the coconut oil producers ... need to find the website that had the chromatographic breakdown of fatty acids I found once before and then research each one ... etc. I honestly don't know. I do know that coconut oil has been moved to the persona non grata list for being not so healthy for you ... the main cooking oil for that great "movie popcorn" that we all remember from the '50-'60's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring
I would like to point out another consideration regarding cotton seed oil. The Fed govt. regulates what chemical herbicides and insecticides may be used on foods for human consumption. Since cotton is not considered a food, those restrictions do not apply to cotton. Different chemicals may legally be used on cotton, chemicals that are not permitted to be used on foods for human consumption.
Actually - when it comes to cotton/cotton seeds - not only do you have the EPA regulating what, how and when it is used ... you also have the FDA and USDA since cotton seeds ARE used as a food source.

Were you aware that a majority of organic farmers use a pesticide on their crops? Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins has been used in many organic farms (over 57% in 1994 in the US) for over 50 years as a microbial pest control agent (MCPA). Bt proteins are allowed in organic farming as a insecticide because Bt is a natural, non-pathogenic bacterium that is found naturally in the soil.

Guess what they use on cotton crops?
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:43 AM   #25
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In picking the healthiest oils, there are still more factors to consider. Though sunflower oil isn't the highest scoring oil in terms of cholesterol, it is neutral. But it, along with walnut, and brazil nut contain enormous amounts of anti-oxidents (more than even the famous blueberry), and is therefore a powerful tool in fighting free radicals. And saflower oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids, and important nutrient required for proper brain growth and maintenance. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in flax seeds and flax seed oil, and in fish oils.

Nut and seed oils tend to be at the top in terms of healthy oils due to their abilities to either lower ldl cholesterol, or at the very least, not contribute to it, and to provide other essential nutrients to the body, such as the above mentioned omega 3's and anti-oxidents. Vatamin E a fat-soluable nutrient that is obtained only in oil, and is well known for it's anti-oxident properties.

And then there are oils which none of us ever even consider, but probably should. It is the essential and arromatic oils in citrus skins that provide flavor when we use the zest. These oils are also high in anti-oxidents. So when we use them, we are adding to the nutritional value of the foods that they are used in.

I do not use canola oil as it is just too controverisal. There is a camp that maintains that it has been thrust on the consumer by a profit loving industry, using bad science to hide its debilitating properties. And then again, there are those that claim it is the best product since baked bread. If you do some research, you will find vast amounts of info on the internet supporting both claims. But most of the info supporting canola oil comes from the manufacturers. And since I can obtain the same benefits touted for canola by using sunflower, avacado, olive, and other oils, why take the chance. Besides, an oil stain from canola never comes out of clothing, not matter what you do to remove it. I have several shirts that have been ruined by canola splatters obtained while frying (I know, I should have been wearing one of my aprons).

And as far as saturated fats go, many people use butter without a thought, but shy away from lard. In reality, butter dontains significant;ly more saturate fat than does lard (pork fat). And did you know that the human body requires saturated fat for many of its essential functions, albeit in very small amounts.

Any way you look at it, fat is essential for bodily functions. But using a lot of fat in your meals is bad, no matter what kind of fat that you use. So use cooking techniques which reduce fat intake. Olive oil is great, but not with every meal. Use butter, but do it sparingly. When cooking meats, try to use methods that will pull fat away from the meat. Reduce consumption of deep fried foods.

I grew up with brook trout, dredged in flour and pan fried in oil, or perch, dipped in batter and deep fried. But I recently made a recipe using fish, jelly rolled around a filling, and baked. I sprayed it with jsut a touch of cooking spray and baked at a high temperature. The result was as good as any fried fish I'd ever had, but had so much less fat.

This is an example of just one little meal. Oven frying is a valid and useful techniqe for reducing fat while creating wonderful food, as is the barbecue grill, steaming, poaching, broiling.

There are so many great cooking methods available to us that uses of fat can easily be reduced without sacrificing anything. But using fat is what we've been taught to do, and it's very easy. But when you really think about it, is making a roullaide any more difficult than dipping something in egg wash, then in a mixture of flour and seasonings, then deep or pan frying, where you have to watch each batch continuously to avoid burning the food? Not really.

So along with knowing your fats, learn to use alternative cooking methods, and don't be afraid to try new things. Your body and toungue will thank you. And if we teach our children to cook with limited fats, they will be so much ahead on the road to healthy families than we who were taught to use inordinate amounts of fat in our cooking.

Oh, and asa for why sunflower oil, the 2nd most widely produced food oil in the planet, is no longer flund on U.S. shelves, it is because it has become enormously popular in Europe for its health properties, and is sold to that market in vast amounts, making it difficult to purchase here in the U.S. At least that's what an article I read said. But I ordered a case of it from a local warehouse distributor and so have a stash on the way. Also, it jsut didn't sell well here due to a lack of consumer knowledge, and a good advertizing campaign by the canola people. People just didnt' purchase it in large enough quantities and so grocers quit stocking it.

If you want it on store shelves, you have to have enough people want it so that store owners see it as a vlauable product for them to stock.

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Old 05-30-2006, 03:00 AM   #26
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Goodweed - remember our previous discussion on the world's healthiest oil - Enova Oil?
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:52 AM   #27
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From what I've always understood, olive oil was the healthiest followed by sunflower oil. I use so many different types of oil it's not even funny, though. Grapeseed oil when I'm on the grill, olive oil (and the myriad of infused versions of this I've made) for most instances when I'm on a stovetop, a corn/peanut oil mixture for deep frying, peanut oil for wokking, canola oil for pan frying...only thing I've ever found use for coconut oil with was a fondue recipe, but I've a bottle of that in my pantry somewhere, as well.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:32 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Goodweed - remember our previous discussion on the world's healthiest oil - Enova Oil?
Most assuredly. I am still of the opinion that all things should be eaten in moderation, and that the single most important idea in proper nutrition is to eat a wide variety of fruits, grains, veggies, and meats. In this way, the body will get the many nutrients it requires, and in the proper forms and amounts.

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Old 05-30-2006, 01:48 PM   #29
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All this discussion about the healthiest oils makes me think of a paraphrasing of our old friend Tuboe's signature:

The food you cook in the oil is more important than the oil you cook it in.

I'm convinced it's not the oil that's gonna kill us.
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:04 PM   #30
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I love my Olive oil, I recently was warned that when heating Canola Oil high enough something in it goes and makes it one of the bad oils, don't know, just something my mom recently heard on one of her talk shows.
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