The best healthy cooking oils – Top choice

The best healthy cooking oils – Top choice

Cooking oils play a crucial role in the preparation of our meals. Not only do they add flavour, but they also provide necessary nutrients such as essential fatty acids. You’ve probably heard a lot of back and forth about heart health, trans fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, PUFAs (Polyunsaturated fatty acids), MUFAs (Monounsaturated fatty acids) and smoke points when it comes to cooking oils. Choosing the right cooking oil is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With so many options, deciding which one to use can be overwhelming. Canada’s food guide recommends consuming healthy fats through cooking oils and encourages individuals to choose oils that are high in unsaturated fats. The guide suggests using oils with a higher ratio of unsaturated to saturated fats, essential for maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. This article will explore the top cooking oils Canada’s food guide recommends, their nutritional benefits, and various ways to incorporate them into your daily meals.

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This article is part of “Discover how to choose cooking oils wisely

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Those are the top choice of cooking oils recommended by Canada’s food guide.
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Olive oil

olive oil

High in monounsaturated fats
70-83% MUFA
7-16% PUFA
7-15% Saturated
Smoke point: 191-210°C/375-410°F 
(depending on the variety)

Olive oil is a type of oil that is extracted from olives. It is a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine.
It is known for its numerous health benefits. Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Olive oil has a relatively high smoke point, which means that it can withstand moderate cooking temperatures without breaking down and producing harmful compounds. Extra virgin olive oil is preferred for its robust flavour and aroma, making it suitable for dressings, dips, and low to medium-heat cooking methods like sautéing and roasting. 
Always choose a high-quality product, as not all olive oils are created equal. Look for extra-virgin olive oil, made using the first cold pressing of the olives and has the most beneficial nutrients. 
Store it properly in a cool, dark place to maintain its freshness and maximize its health benefits.

Extra virgin olive oil typically has the highest percentage of monounsaturated fats among cooking oils.
However, it’s important to note that, like all fats, olive oil is also calorie-dense, so moderation is essential to avoid excessive calorie intake.

What are the different types of Olive Oil?

There are several different types of olive oil, each with its own characteristics and recommended uses. Here are some of the most common types:

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

This is the highest quality and most flavourful olive oil. It has a strong flavour and a distinct fruity aroma. Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s definition is exact regarding production methods, taste, and chemical composition. To be certified for the “Extra Virgin” Label, an olive oil:

  1. Must come from the first pressing of fresh olives, generally within 24 hours of harvesting.
  2. Must be extracted by non-chemical, mechanical means and without excessive heat (cold-pressed), specifically below 28°C/82°F. It is considered “unrefined.”
  3. The free fatty acid or acidity level must be less than 0.8%.
  4. It must be defect-free – having a perfect taste and aroma.

It’s high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, contains the most antioxidants, and is considered the finest. This also makes it the most expensive to buy than other types of olive oil, but its flavour can’t be substituted for anything else.
Because extra-virgin olive oil offers more flavour than other olive oil, it is best used for drizzling over salads, vegetables, bread or finishing dishes. It is a good option for sautéing vegetables and marinades. It’s also one of the healthiest oils to use when baking.
It has a relatively low smoke point, so it is not recommended for frying or roasting above 190°C/374°F.
Nutrition and cooking experts agree that olive oil is one of the most versatile and healthy oils to cook with and eat, as long as it’s extra virgin.

Virgin olive oil

Virgin olive oil is also made from the first pressing of olives, but it has a slightly higher acidity level (up to 2%) than extra virgin olive oil. Therefore, it is of inferior quality to Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is considered good taste but may include some sensory defects. Its flavour intensity can vary, and its flavour and aroma are milder than Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Virgin olive oil is suitable for cooking, baking, and sautéing, providing a healthier alternative to refined cooking oils.
Virgin olive oil is a lesser grade of virgin oil. This is the next best option if you cannot find extra virgin olive oil.

Fino olive oil

Meaning fine in Italy, this oil is a blend of extra virgin and virgin olive oils.

Pure olive oil (or Refined Olive Oil)

Pure olive oil is another oil, but the name can be misleading. Pure olive oil is a blend of both extra virgin or virgin and refined olive oils. It undergoes refining processes, including filtering and heating, to remove impurities and reduce acidity. It is used mainly when extracted olive oil is of poor quality, and the refining process helps it to have a better flavour. Refined olive oil is virgin oil that has been refined using agents such as acids, alkalis, charcoal, and other chemical and physical filters, methods which do not alter the glyceridic structure, and heat to extract as much oil as possible from the olive pulp that remains after the first pressing. These heavily processed oils have had most of their distinct flavours and aromas removed in the extraction process.
Refined olive oil is often used when frying as the taste is not as remarkable as virgin oils. Pure olive oil has a lighter colour, milder flavour, and higher smoke point, making it suitable for high-heat cooking methods like frying and grilling. If you love frying things in olive oil (which, like, who doesn’t?), you’ll want to use the pure stuff instead of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
It is NOT recommended for salad dressings.
Unfortunately, it’s not as flavourful because it’s chemically processed. It also doesn’t have as many heart-healthy fats as high-quality extra-virgin. While it is still a source of monounsaturated fat, it no longer contains the polyphenols that make olive oil so good for you. The result is a fattier and more acidic oil which lacks taste, aroma and natural antioxidants. But that’s the trade-off for being able to use it for heavy-duty cooking.

Light olive oil

Contrary to what the name implies, “light” olive oil does not refer to reduced calorie or fat content. Instead, it refers to a lighter flavour and colour than other olive oils. Light olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil and small amounts of virgin olive oil. It is highly processed, has a higher smoke point, and is often used for baking, frying, and other cooking methods where a light flavour is desired.

If the label states “pure,” “100% pure,” or “Light,” then the Olive Oil is a refined oil lacking the taste, aroma, and quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Extra light olive oil

Similar to light olive oil, extra light olive oil refers to an even lighter flavour, colour, and aroma. It is also a blend of refined olive oil and virgin or extra virgin olive oil and has a high smoke point. Extra light olive oil can be used in cooking, baking, and frying when a very mild flavour is desired.

Olive pomace oil

The lowest grade of olive oil is made from the byproducts of extra virgin olive oil production. Olive skins, seeds, and pulp are heated, and the remaining oil is extracted using hexane, a solvent. The result, pomace oil, is refined, similar to pure or light olive oil. Pomace olive oil is bland and extremely low in antioxidants.

Lampante oil

Oil with severe defects, usually from bad fruit or poor processing practices. It is not fit for human consumption until it has been refined.

It’s important to note that extra virgin olive oil is generally the most recommended type due to its superior quality and health benefits.
When choosing olive oil, look for reputable brands and read the labels for information on its type, origin, and quality.

What type of fatty acids are in olive oil?

Olive oil is primarily composed of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), with smaller amounts of saturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. As for trans fatty acids, naturally occurring trans fats are minimal in olive oil. However, it’s essential to check the label of processed or blended oils, as they may contain small amounts of industrially-produced trans fats if partially hydrogenated oils are used.
The specific percentages can vary depending on the olive variety, region of origin, and production methods. Here is a general breakdown of the approximate fatty acid composition for different types of olive oil:

Extra virgin olive oil

This is the highest quality and least processed form of olive oil.
It typically contains around 70-83% MUFAs (mainly oleic acid), 7-16% PUFAs (mainly linoleic acid), and 7-15% saturated fatty acids.
The smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is around 191°C/375°F.

Virgin olive oil

Virgin olive oil has a similar fatty acid composition to extra virgin olive oil but may have slightly higher acidity levels.
The smoke point is also around 191°C/375°F.

Pure olive oil

Pure olive oil is a blend of refined and virgin or extra virgin olive oil.
It typically contains around 73-83% MUFAs, 8-14% PUFAs, and 7-15% saturated fatty acids.
The smoke point is higher than extra virgin olive oil, usually around 210°C/410°F.

It’s always a good idea to refer to the nutritional label or consult with reliable sources for more precise and updated information on the specific fatty acid composition of different olive oil brands or varieties.

Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalized advice on incorporating olive oil effectively into your diet.

What is Olive oil made from?

Olive oil is extracted from ripe olives (fruit of the olive tree) on the first pressing without heat or chemicals.

What is Olive oil best for?

Olive oil is highly versatile and can be used in various culinary applications. Here are some common uses and benefits of olive oil:

Salad dressings

Olive oil can be used as a base for homemade salad dressings. Its rich flavour and smooth texture can enhance the taste of your salads.

Sautéing

Olive oil can be used for sautéing vegetables and searing meats. It has a relatively high smoke point, making it suitable for medium-heat cooking methods. However, it’s essential not to exceed the oil’s smoke point to avoid the degradation of its nutritional properties.

Roasting and grilling

Olive oil can be brushed onto vegetables, meats, or fish before roasting or grilling. This can help create a crispy exterior and add moisture and flavour to the food.

Dips and spreads

Olive oil mixed with herbs, spices, or balsamic vinegar can be used as a bread dip or a spread for sandwiches and wraps. This can add depth and enhance the taste of your meals.

Marinades

Olive oil can be used as a marinade base, helping tenderize and flavour meats, poultry, or seafood before cooking.

Finishing oil

Extra virgin olive oil is often used as a finishing oil to drizzle over dishes or to enhance the flavour of soups, stews, or pasta just before serving. Its robust flavour and aroma can add a touch of richness to your meals.

Overall, the best uses for olive oil are those that allow its flavour and nutritional benefits to shine.
Choose Extra Virgin (unrefined) for dressing and low-heat applications to enjoy its robust flavour.
Choose Virgin (also unrefined) or Pure (a blend of Virgin and refined oils) for pan-frying, roasting, or baking.
Incorporate olive oil into your cooking routine based on your personal taste preferences and the specific culinary application.

What is Olive oil not recommended for?

While olive oil is a versatile and healthy cooking oil, there are a few situations in which it may not be recommended:

High-heat cooking

While olive oil has a relatively high smoke point, it is unsuitable for high-heat cooking methods such as deep-frying or stir-frying at very high temperatures. In these cases, oils with higher smoke points, like canola or avocado, may be more appropriate.

Repeatedly heating and reusing

Repeatedly heating and reusing olive oil can lead to the formation of harmful compounds and a decrease in its nutritional value. It is generally not recommended to reuse olive oil multiple times for frying.

Overconsumption

Though olive oil is a healthy fat, it is still calorie-dense. Excessive consumption of any oil, including olive oil, can contribute to weight gain. It is important to use olive oil in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Allergies or sensitivities

Some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to olives or olive oil. In such cases, avoiding consuming olive oil or seeking alternatives is advisable.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized recommendations based on your specific health needs, dietary preferences, and cooking requirements.

How to store Olive oil?

Proper storage of olive oil is essential to maintain its quality and prevent it from spoiling. Here are some guidelines for storing olive oil:

Choose a cool and dark location

Exposure to light and heat can accelerate the oxidation process and degrade the quality of olive oil. Store it in a cool, dark cupboard or pantry away from direct sunlight or heat sources like the stove or oven.

Use airtight containers

Olive oil should be stored in airtight containers to minimize exposure to oxygen, which can also contribute to oxidation. Consider using tinted glass bottles or stainless steel containers to protect the oil from light and air.

Seal the container tightly

Seal the container tightly to prevent air from entering and interacting with the oil.

Avoid exposure to air

When using olive oil, try to minimize the time the bottle or container is open to prevent it from being exposed to air for extended periods.

Use smaller bottles for frequently used oil

If you have a large quantity of olive oil, consider transferring a smaller amount into a separate bottle for easy access and storing the remaining oil away. This helps to reduce the exposure of the whole supply to air each time you reach for it.

Check for signs of spoilage

Over time, olive oil can go rancid. It’s important to periodically check the oil for any off smells, flavours, or discoloration. If you notice any signs of spoilage, it’s best to discard the oil.

Consider refrigeration for long-term storage

If you anticipate not using the olive oil for an extended period, refrigeration can help extend its shelf life. Cold temperatures can help slow down the oxidation process. However, refrigerated olive oil may solidify or become cloudy but will return to its normal state when brought back to room temperature.

By following these storage guidelines, you can help preserve the quality and freshness of your olive oil for a more extended period.

What are Olive oil prós and cons?

Here are some pros and cons of using olive oil:

Pros of olive oil:

Heart-healthy fats

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy. These fats can help raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which can contribute to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Antioxidant properties

Extra virgin olive oil is packed with antioxidants, such as polyphenols and vitamin E. These antioxidants can help protect the body against cellular damage caused by free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Researchers are also looking into how polyphenols can help prevent cancer and their potential for improving cognitive function and memory.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Olive oil contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, such as oleocanthal. Regular consumption of olive oil has been associated with reduced inflammation, which is linked to various health conditions, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Versatility in cooking

Olive oil is highly versatile and can be used in various culinary applications, including sautéing, roasting, and salad dressings. Its robust flavour and aroma can enhance the taste of dishes.

Cons of olive oil:

Calorie-dense

Like all fats, olive oil is calorie-dense, providing about 120 calories per tablespoon. Overconsumption can lead to weight gain if not consumed in moderation.

Limited high-heat cooking

While olive oil has a relatively high smoke point, it is unsuitable for high-heat cooking methods like deep-frying. Other oils with higher smoke points may be more appropriate for such techniques.

Individual sensitivities or allergies

Some individuals may have allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances to olives or olive oil. Avoiding or seeking alternatives is best if you experience adverse symptoms after consuming olive oil.

Storage and shelf life

Olive oil is vulnerable to oxidation and can go rancid if not stored properly. It’s essential to store olive oil in a cool, dark place and use it within its recommended shelf life to maintain its quality.

Some brands with bad quality

Many brands, varying in colour and strength of flavour, are now available. When choosing olive oil, look for ones that say they’re cold-pressed. This chemical-free process means no heat was applied during the crushing, which avoids changes in the olive’s chemistry and defects. The resulting oil has a natural level of low acidity.

Blend of olive oil

Unfortunately, it has been discovered that some unsavoury olive oil dealers have combined olive oil with cheap vegetable oils while still labelling the bottle as 100% olive oil, so make sure the olive oil you buy is pure. Otherwise, you may unwittingly be consuming unhealthy fats.

Overall, olive oil’s health benefits and versatility make it a popular and recommended choice for culinary use. However, it’s important to consume it in moderation and be mindful of individual sensitivities or allergies.

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Flaxseed oil

Flaxseed oil is a dietary supplement rich in essential fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid. It is extracted from flaxseeds, tiny brown seeds cultivated for thousands of years for medicinal and nutritional benefits. Flaxseed oil is a popular choice for people looking to increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which can support heart health, brain function, and joint health. It is also used in skincare products for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is essential to note that flaxseed oil should not be used as a cooking oil because it has a low smoke point and can easily become rancid. It is best consumed as a supplement in its raw form or enjoyed in its raw form, mixed into salad dressings, smoothies, yogurt, or drizzled over cooked dishes to provide nutritional benefits without compromising quality.

Flaxseed oil

 High in Polyunsaturated fats
15-20% MUFA
70-75% PUFA – 50-65% ALA
7-9% Saturated
Smoke point:  107°C/225°F

It is important to note that flaxseed oil is highly sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen.
To maintain its nutritional properties, flaxseed oil should be stored in the refrigerator and used within its recommended usage period.

What type of fatty acids are in Flaxseed oil?

Flaxseed oil is primarily composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), with minimal amounts of saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Here is a general breakdown of the approximate fatty acid composition of flaxseed oil:

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)

Flaxseed oil is known for being one of the richest plant-based sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs comprise approximately 70-75% of the total fatty acids in flaxseed oil. These PUFAs include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. It usually contains around 50-65% ALA, making it one of the highest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Olive and canola oils also contain omega-3s.
You need dietary omega-3s since your body cannot make them on its own. The high content of PUFAs in flaxseed oil makes it a valuable addition to a balanced diet, as these fatty acids are known for their potential health benefits, such as reducing inflammation. It may help reduce symptoms of arthritis. According to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, omega-3 fatty acids may help lower cancer risk. Also thought to help control blood pressure, and diabetes, improve heart health, and fight heart disease and stroke.

Consider using it more often if you don’t eat a lot of fish, but it’s hard to consume enough to get the benefits of omega-3s in fish.

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)

Flaxseed oil contains a small amount of monounsaturated fats. The monounsaturated fatty acid content in flaxseed oil is typically around 15-20%. Monounsaturated fatty acids promote decreased total LDL cholesterol and increased HDL.

Saturated fatty acids

Flaxseed oil is relatively low in saturated fatty acids. It typically contains around 7-9% saturated fatty acids.

Trans fatty acids

Flaxseed oil typically contains very low levels of trans fatty acids. The natural trans fat content in flaxseed oil is usually less than 0.1%.

Smoke point

Flaxseed oil has a relatively low smoke point, around 107°C/225°F. Due to its low smoke point, flaxseed oil is unsuitable for high-heat cooking methods, such as frying or sautéing. It is best used as a finishing oil for salad dressings, dips, or added to already-cooked food.

Regarding nutritional information and specific fatty acid compositions, it is always advisable to consult the product label or refer to reliable sources for accurate and updated information.

What is Flaxseed oil made from?

Flaxseed oil made from cold-pressed flaxseed.

What is Flaxseed oil best for?

Flaxseed oil is best known for its rich content of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It offers several potential health benefits and is often used for the following purposes:

Omega-3 supplementation

Flaxseed oil is a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids essential for overall health. These fatty acids support brain function, reduce inflammation, promote heart health, and support healthy skin and hair. Flaxseed oil can be used as a supplement to help increase omega-3 intake, especially for individuals who do not consume fish or other seafood.

Salad dressings and dips

Flaxseed oil is best to use in cold dishes. It can be a nutritious addition to salad dressings and sauces. Drizzle it over quinoa or dip, such as hummus. Its nutty flavour can add a pleasant taste to these preparations while boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

Smoothies and shakes

Adding flaxseed oil to smoothies, protein shakes, or blended beverages is another popular way to incorporate nutritional benefits into your diet. It can enhance the texture and taste of the drink while delivering omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients.

Baking

Flaxseed oil can be used as a substitute for other oils or butter in baking recipes. It can add a slightly nutty flavour to baked goods while contributing to their nutritional profile with omega-3 fatty acids. Due to its low smoke point, it is generally not recommended for high-heat baking methods but can be used for moderately heated or no-bake recipes.

Skin and hair care

Flaxseed oil is often used in natural skin and hair care products due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. It can help moisturize the skin, reduce inflammation, and improve the condition of hair and nails.

It’s important to note that flaxseed oil is highly sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen.
To preserve its quality and nutritional value, storing flaxseed oil in the refrigerator and using it within its recommended usage period is best.
Consult a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized advice on incorporating flaxseed oil into your diet.

What is Flaxseed oil not recommended for?

Flaxseed oil is not recommended for certain purposes due to its specific characteristics and potential risks:

High-heat cooking

Flaxseed oil has a low smoke point, which is unsuitable for high-heat cooking methods such as frying or sautéing. The delicate nature of flaxseed oil makes it susceptible to nutrient loss when exposed to high temperatures. When exposed to high temperatures, Flaxseed oil can break down, oxidize, and develop an unpleasant taste.
Choosing oils with higher smoke points for high-temperature cooking like frying or sautéing is best. Options such as vegetable oils (canolasoybeansunflower), avocado oil, or light olive oil may be more appropriate. These oils have higher smoke points and can withstand higher temperatures without breaking down or producing smoke.
Instead, it is often used as a finishing oil or added to already-cooked food.

Prolonged storage

Flaxseed oil is highly sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen. Prolonged storage, especially at room temperature, can lead to rancidity and degradation of its nutritional value. To maintain freshness and quality, flaxseed oil should be stored in a dark, cool place, preferably in the refrigerator, and consumed within its recommended usage period.

Cooking for infants or young children

Without consulting a healthcare professional, Flaxseed oil should not be used as a cooking oil or added to food for infants or young children. While it contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, it may not provide the appropriate balance of nutrients required for their specific developmental needs.

Allergies or sensitivities

While uncommon, some individuals may be allergic or have sensitivities to flaxseeds or flaxseed oil. It is essential to be aware of potential allergic reactions and discontinue use if any adverse symptoms occur.

Suppose you have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions. In that case, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before incorporating flaxseed oil into your diet or making any significant changes to your eating habits.

How to store Flaxseed oil?

Cold-pressed flaxseed oil easily turns rancid (oxidizes). To properly store flaxseed oil and maintain its freshness, follow these guidelines:

Buy a small bottle from the store's refrigerated section

You should buy a small bottle to use it quickly, and be extra sure to store it in the fridge.

Choose a dark glass container

Flaxseed oil is sensitive to light, which can accelerate its oxidation process. Opt for a dark-coloured glass bottle to protect the oil from sunlight. The dark glass helps block out light and preserve the oil’s quality.

Keep it in a cool place

Flaxseed oil is also sensitive to heat. Store the bottle in a cool and dark location, such as a pantry or refrigerator, to prolong its shelf life. The ideal temperature for storage is below 20°C/68°F.

Seal the bottle tightly

Ensure the bottle is tightly sealed to prevent exposure to oxygen, which can cause the oil to go rancid. Oxygen contributes to oxidation, which degrades the quality of the oil. Keeping the bottle tightly sealed helps preserve its freshness.

Avoid prolonged storage

Flaxseed oil has a relatively short shelf life than other oils due to its high omega-3 fatty acid content. It is advisable to use flaxseed oil within its recommended usage period, usually within a few months of opening the bottle, to ensure maximum freshness and nutritional content.

Check for signs of spoilage

Before using flaxseed oil, always check for any signs of spoilage. If it smells rancid or has an off odour, or if the oil appears cloudy or has a thick consistency, it may have gone bad and should be discarded.

Following these storage tips will help maintain the freshness and nutritional value of flaxseed oil so that you can enjoy its benefits for extended periods.

What are Flaxseed oil pros and cons?

Here are some pros and cons of flaxseed oil:

Pros of flaxseed oil:

High in omega-3 fatty acids

Since the oil is more condensed than whole flaxseeds, it provides a greater punch of omega-3s. Flaxseed oil is one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain function, heart health, and reducing inflammation.

Potential health benefits

The omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed oil have been associated with various health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, supporting brain health, and improving skin health. Flaxseed oil is also a terrific option for individuals suffering from high blood pressure, and studies show that supplementing with flaxseed oil on a daily basis can lower blood pressure.

Supports digestive health

Flaxseed oil contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that can help soothe and protect the digestive tract. It may be beneficial for individuals dealing with constipation or digestive issues. The oil can be used as a mild laxative.

Versatile use

Flaxseed oil can be easily incorporated into your diet by adding it to smoothies, salad dressings, or baking recipes to enhance nutritional content.

Cons of flaxseed oil:

Potential interactions with medications

Flaxseed oil may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners or hormone-related drugs. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist if you are taking any medications before incorporating flaxseed oil into your diet.

Avoid it if you’re on a blood thinner since flaxseed oil may increase bleeding.

Sensitivity to heat and light

Flaxseed oil is highly sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen. Exposure to these elements can lead to oxidation and rancidity, which may degrade its nutritional value and taste. Proper storage in a cool, dark place is essential.

Low smoke point

Flaxseed oil has a low smoke point, which is unsuitable for high-temperature cooking methods. Using it for frying or high-heat cooking can lead to the breakdown of its beneficial compounds and the development of an unpleasant taste.

Short shelf life

Due to its sensitivity to oxidation, flaxseed oil has a relatively short shelf life compared to other oils. It should be used within its recommended usage period and stored properly to maintain its freshness.

As with any dietary supplement or significant dietary change, it is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before incorporating flaxseed oil into your routine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.

Cooking oils to be avoided or limit the amount

According to Canada's food guide:

Not mentioned by Canada’s food guide:

Cooking fats to be avoided or limit the amount according to Canada's food guide
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This article is part of “Discover how to choose cooking oils wisely

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