There has been a lot of talk in the past 60 days about OIL. Lots of dicussion about the “black gold” that is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico due to the Oil spill caused by BP’s deepwater oil platform explosion. I know we will look back on this as the spill of the century, as many lives, human and otherwise, will be affected.
Ironically over the same time period I have been investigating OIL too, but not the black stuff! Instead I have been trying to figure out the truth about the oils (liquid fats) that we eat…olive oil, vegtable oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil… you get the picture, but do you know which one is better than another, or why?
I thought I did, I thought that olive oil was supposed to be really great for you and vegtable oil was supposed to be a whole lot more “heart healthy” to cook with than animal LARD of my grandma’s day…but upon closer investigation and newer scientific evidence…all that may not be the truth I once thought it was.
After a recent visit to a doctor for our little gal to discuss diet, I was introduced to the idea of cooking with coconut oil….huh?? Like the stuff that they put in suntan oil, when you wanted to look and smell like a hawaiin beach babe?? hmmm? I was intrigued! So I read more…and bought some to give it a try.
Besides being great for the digestive system and immune system (the 2 main reasons we are adding it to Lady A’s diet), coconut oil boasts many other health benefits ,some listed here. I have been adding a few teaspoons to the puree batches, I have been making for her with fresh vegtables and meats and she loves them!
Now backtracking just a bit….until Lady A was born, Vegtable oil was the type of oil I bought for baking and usually had a bottle in the pantry. It was just last year when I was put on an elimination diet for breastfeeding (first for MILK then adding SOY and EGG to the elimination list) that I soon got an EDUCATION in an oil that I thought was made from vegtables and thus it must be good for you, right? WRONG…
Vegtable oil in today’s world is more than likely made from soybean oil. It tends to be the least expensive and most readily available oil in the US. So big deal? right? WRONG again! When I began on this elimination diet, I started to read lables (something I rarely did before) and then my eyes BUGGED OUT OF MY HEAD…because nearly every box, package, packet, can and jar I picked up contained SOME FORM OF SOY (soybean oil, soy lecthin, etc.). Soo… the first few weeks of figuring out what I could eat on this elimination diet were unbelieveably more challenging than figuring out what I couldn’t eat (which was just about ANYTHING processed).
Since then I have learned alot about oil and the hydrogenation process that most oils are put through (bringing me back to my chemist days!)… what it all boils down to is hydrogenation is bad news and coconut oil and olive oil seem to be at the top of the good oil list while soybean and corn oil seem to be at the bottom of the list. I am still learning about oils, so as I figure more out I will post an update! Until then…cook with butter!