Olive Oil VS Vegetable OilsMaria Adamopoulou
Olive Oil Vs Vegetable Oil
Lately, there has been an increase in the consumption of Vegetable Oils. Soybean Oil, Canola, Corn, Sunflower, Sesame to name but a few. And though they can be considered healthy in general, when consumed without moderation they can create serious health problems. Two major factors play a massive role in the quality of the Vegetable Oils: the number of fatty acids they contain and how they are processed. These two key parameters can drastically affect the nutritious value of the Vegetable Oils.
A closer look at various Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oils are extracted from plant seeds following two different processes. They are either extracted with the help of a chemical solvent or with the help of an oil mill. But the process of their extraction does not end there. Some of the vegetable oils are further refined and purified and some are chemically altered. We will not get into details concerning their alteration process though with a little research you can find out for yourselves. What we will point out though is that Vegetable Oils are found in processed foods which are so conveniently found everywhere around us. Processed food is indeed a convenient solution for a meal, especially when time is precious and people opt for the easy way to feed themselves.
It’s all about the Omegas
After they are processed Vegetable Oils end up on the shelves and in our diet full in Omega-6 fatty acids. Like everything related to food and its consumption, they are not harmful when consumed with moderation. In fact they equally benefit the organism when the intake is limited down to a few grams a day. But the Western Diet and the Western way of living are causing a major turn towards unhealthy eating by opting for Fast food and the easy solutions to meals. Thus, while the optimal intake ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 should be 1:1 it has in fact grown to reach the astounding number of 10:1 and even 50:1. Now this is a major imbalance that we so unconsciously impose on ourselves. This is not to say that you should not consume Omega-6 fatty acids. On the contrary as we mentioned above, these fatty acids are also important for your wellbeing. So determining the appropriate dose is of vital importance and you should consult your doctor and/or your dietician!
The Western World foods and dietary options are based on rich saturated fats which are highly processed and so to make things worse this is where trans-fat get into the picture. As this dietary headache was not enough!
And the Smoke Point?
Another significant variable you need to take into consideration is the type of cooking you are doing. This is because not all Oils are appropriate and right for the cooking you wish to do. Some are suitable for baking while others for drizzling raw over foods or for sauteing. It all comes down to the smoke point.
But what is smoke point? It is the point when the oil you use starts burning and smoke is coming out of it. Some oils when used past that point not only do they lose their valuable nutrients but they also become harmful as they release free radicals.
Refined Vegetable Oils lack nutrients because during their extraction and their purifying process chemical solvents significantly affect and sometimes they completely deplete any nutrients found in the Vegetable Oil.
There are no solvents used to purify it or deodorise it and as it is extracted via a cold-pressed process it maintains its nutrients to the fullest.