With new study linking canola oil to memory issues, what oils should you choose?
After coconut oil was called out earlier this year for not being as healthy as we all wanted to believe, a new study on canola oil now suggests that this vegetable oil may also not be as good for us as once thought.
However, adding a little fat to your food, either through cooking or drizzling over salads, can help to fill you up and feel more satisfied after a meal provide a variety of health benefits.
Here we take a look at the most recent evidence to to assess which of the "good fats" to include in the diet for a healthier lifestyle.
Although it has previously been touted as a healthy and cheaper alternative to some of the more expensive oils around, a new study out this week has found a link between canola oil and a worsened memory, worsened learning ability and weight gain in mice which model Alzheimer's disease. The team point out that despite the health claims surrounding the oil, very few studies have investigated them, with this new study the first to suggest that canola oil could actually do more harm than good for the brain.
A new review published earlier this year which attempted to end some of the confusion around recent food fads warned against the vegetable oils coconut oil and palm oil, which are high in saturated fatty acids and raise cholesterol. Despite the popularity of coconut oil over the last few years, the review advised that these oils should be limited or avoided altogether due to limited data supporting regular intake.
Extra-virgin olive oil
The same review however, like many studies before it, praised olive oil for its health benefits, concluding that it is the most heart-healthy oil. Studies have also suggested that adding an oil like extra-virgin or virgin olive oil to uncooked dishes such as salads can also boost health by helping the body absorb several fat-soluble vitamins, but choose refined olive oils for cooking as they are better at higher temperatures. However, like most oils it is high in calories, so consume in moderation.
According to nutritional epidemiologist Karin Michels, at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, USA, the good fats in avocado are a great way to boost heart health. The benefits can also be gained from the oil, which is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, and also has a tasty but mild flavor, making it great to add cold onto salads. Thanks to it's high smoke point it is also a good oil for cooking.
High in monounsaturated (good) fat, peanut oil also contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps maintain a strong immune system, healthy skin and eyes, and helps with the formation of red blood cells. Another oil with a high smoke point it is ideal for cooking, frying, and grilling.
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