Essential oils

The Skinny on Cooking With Oils

 

What kind of oils are you cooking with? If you are using Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, you are over-paying for oil that should only be consumed in its raw state. Heating oil changes it, altering and destroying the healthy compounds called phenols. Phenols are beneficial for liver detoxification and immune support.

There is a point where heated oils lose their health benefits. This is called the “smoke point.” The oils not only lose their benefits, they also become harmful to consume. 

There are some oils that can be safely heated to high heat for cooking and their rich flavor will hold up. Avocado, extra-light olive oil and ghee are good choices. Ghee is butter that has been simmered so the milk solids caramelize with the fat.

Medium high heat is used most often for cooking vegetables and browning meat. The best oils for medium heat are virgin (not extra-virgin) olive oil and nut oils, like macadamia, almond or hazelnut oils.

For cooking with medium heat, unrefined coconut and sesame oils work well.

Extra-virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil can be used for salad dressings. Flavorful oils like pistachio, sesame and walnut oils can be used to drizzle over salads and foods for extra flavor and nutrients.

If you have never experimented with nut Oils, like Walnut, Macadamia or Hazelnut,

you are in for a treat. These oils are wonderful for making unique salad dressings.  Try mixing with lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, and adding a touch of aged or reduced balsamic vinegar, along with herbs you like. You can buy reduced balsamic vinegar at Trader Joe’s. I like to drizzle it on top of a salad for extra flavor.

Generally, it is better to go for unrefined, raw oils. Heat-treated, lose their health benefits. You can use heat treated oils like toasted sesame oil to add rich flavor to salads or Asian dishes, but be sure to eat plenty of unrefined oils for the benefits of the essential fatty acids. EFA’s are vital for heart, brain, skin and general nutrition. Processed oil such as Canola, Soy or Corn Oils should be avoided altogether.

 

Adding plenty of healthy oils to your diet can help with weight loss, because rich-tasting foods are more satisfying and will keep your blood sugar balanced, curbing appetite and giving you sustained energy.  Don’t settle for chemical bottled dressings-carry your own to work.

 

Here is a quick guide to cooking with oils:

High heat, 450-650°                         Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Pecan Oil, Ghee (or clarified        

                                                          butter, Extra-Light Olive Oil (not Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)

Medium-High Heat 375-449°         Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Macadamia Nut

                                                         Oil, Refined Coconut Oil

Medium Heat 324-374°                   Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Lard, Butter, Unrefined Coconut Oil

Medium-Low Heat 250-324°          Unrefined Sesame Seed Oil, Unrefined Walnut Oil

Low Heat 225-249°                          Pistachio Oil

 

Now you can cook smart and delicious!

 

 

10 Hacks For a Slimmer, Merrier Holiday

 

1.     Choose your treat before the feast.

Decide which type of treat you want to indulge in before each festivity. Choose breads or desserts, for example, but not both. For most people the starch in bread metabolizes like cake, so choosing one or the other prevents a double helping of sugar.

2.     Load up on the healthy stuff when you first arrive at a party. Take the edge off your appetite with the crudité, vegetable dips, olives and other low calorie snacks. Cheese and nuts, although healthy, quickly pile on calories.

3.     Volunteer to bring a dessert and make it sugar-free by using stevia or xylitol. That way you can enjoy a good helping of something sweet without blowing your diet. And you may be surprised how many people enjoy your dessert and ask for the recipe. Here are some recipes made with stevia. http://www.yummly.com/recipes/stevia-desserts  Another sugar-free suggestion is to serve berries with whipped cream sweetened with Stevia instead of the usual pies or cakes. You can use some English Toffee Stevia to give the cream a more Holiday feel. Sweetleaf carries a dozen flavors of liquid stevia and has many recipes to try.

4.     Try using coconut flour or nut flours instead of wheat for your holiday baking. These grain-free substitutes are higher in protein and lower in carbs. And you may start a new Holiday tradition. Here are other suggestions for making healthier cookies. http://www.cbsnews.com/media/healthier-holiday-cookies/

5.     Drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. Pace yourself, set your drink down, switch to a bubbly water with lemon. Alcohol metabolizes like sugar, and it is toxic for the liver. A clear head and engaged mind makes you a more interesting party guest!  Milk Thistle before and after indulging will help you avoid a hang-over. We have the best in our Livco from MediHerb.

6.     Avoid chocolate when you are enjoying other rich, fatty foods. Chocolate is particularly difficult for the liver/gall bladder to process. If you suffer from any kind of migraines or headaches, try eliminating chocolate and see if the headaches subside. Even the best dark chocolate may cause headaches for some people. Chocolate may be particularly aggravating right before the menstrual period. Try taking extra magnesium at that time.

7.     Get family and friends active with games and walks and activities that keep people away from too much food or alcohol. Americans gain an average of 7 pounds at Christmas and many don’t lose it throughout the year.

8.     Don’t skip meals just because you are busy. Plan ahead so that you keep your blood sugar stable by including protein and fat in every meal and eating every few hours. Decide that you don’t have to sample every cookie that is offered or indulge in the treats around the office. Keep a supply of fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks around so that you aren’t starving when the parties start. You can also make pots of soup to enjoy for a filling treat to take to the office or enjoy when you come home tired.

9.     Indulge yourself in other ways than goodies and food treats during the Holidays. Get a massage. Ask for one for a gift or treat yourself. Enjoy herbal teas. Try Slippery Elm tea to soothe the tummy and Licorice tea to support the adrenals. Indulge your senses with essential oils. Peppermint essential oil is a wonderful pick-me-up in the morning or before a night out. Eucalyptus essential oil eases breathing and congestion. Lavender is a classic for relaxation and sleep. Essential oils can be used simply by putting a few drops on a hanky and breathing the scent. Children love them. You can also mix a few drops with a carrier oil like coconut and rubbing on temples or chest.

10. On the days between celebrations eat a simple diet with lots of salad, protein of choice, and dressings of good oil and lemon or vinegar. Give your digestion and your pancreas a break and stick to a Paleo regime.  Look at your calendar ahead of time and decide which days you will stick to a healthy plan. Write it down so you don’t forget.

Don't forget your supplements during the Holidays, especially if you are traveling. We can mail to you if you don't have time to come to the office. If you are stressed, try our wonderful herbal line that is sure to calm and soothe in just a few minutes. Enjoy this Holiday Season, with all its blessings.