Good fat bad fat?

olive oilAre you confused about ‘good’ and bad’ oils?

Many of you might have been frightened off anything remotely fatty by the fear of heart disease, but cutting back too far can lead to a whole host of problems including, yes, heart disease!

Fats and oils are just as important to us as protein, minerals and carbohydrates but you need to know which ones are best.

Essential fatty acids

Nutrients in fats and oils called essential fatty acids are needed by every cell in the body and play a vital role in maintaining our health.

The right kind of oil can keep our joints supple and improve the texture of our skin. The wrong kind can do more harm than good.

Mass produced

Most of the oils we see on the shelves are mass produced, processed with solvents or subjected to high temperatures which destroy the nutrients.

The key when it comes to quality is ‘cold pressing’ which means the oil has been extracted by a natural method which doesn’t damage essential fatty acids. Quality oils use the word ‘cold pressed’ ‘unfiltered’ or ‘extra virgin’ and don’t forget to buy organic!

Avoid anything that is saturated fat and steer clear of hydrogenated fats and oils.

Olive oil

Olive oil is good for balancing cholesterol and blood pressure. It aids digestion and is a great remedy for aching joints, dry skin, dull hair and weak nails.

Hazelnut oil

Hazelnut oil is rich in minerals and essential fats. Use in pancakes, waffles and cake baking.

Sesame oil

Sesame oil is high in lecithin which makes it good for depression and anxiety. Use it in mayonnaise, pasta sauces and stir fries.

Walnut oil

Walnut oil is rich in the same essential fatty acids as oily fish and is a good source of vitamin E. Use with lemon juice to dress salads.

Pumpkin seed oil

This delicious oil helps the heart and circulation and is good for digestion. Use sprinkled over cooked vegetables or pasta dishes.