Heart Healthy Cooking Oils
As you are doing your normal grocery shopping you may notice a new trend catching on– heart healthy cooking oils. It may not be advertised as such, but oils other than olive and canola are becoming much more popular. I am talking about Avocado Oil, Walnut Oil, Almond Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Sesame Oil and more. Thankfully, they have a well-deserved place in your kitchen.
Avocado Oil: This oil, pressed from avocados, contains about 50% of its fat from monounsaturated fatty acids—a diet rich in monounsaturated fat has shown to improve cholesterol levels and may help improve blood sugar control. Avocado can withstand higher heat so you can use this oil to sauté sweet potatoes or simple sear chicken breast.
Walnut Oil: Rich in the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids, walnut oil has some great heart cardio-protective benefits. In 2004, the FDA stated that “supportive research states that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” Walnut oil doesn’t withstand extremely high cooking temperatures so it in cold sauces, salad dressings, tossed in pasta or complete your grilled vegetables by adding a tsp. of walnut oil.
Almond Oil: This nut is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium and more (all heart healthy nutrients). Almond oil can be used in salad dressings, roasted vegetables or stir-fries. Make sure to buy your almond oil in the same aisle as the other cooking oils as bitter almond oil can be hazardous to your health.
Pumpkin Seed Oil: This oil, like other nut and seed oils, is rich in heart healthy fats as well as Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Pumpkin seed oil can be used to finish your roasted butternut squash, incorporated into a Pumpkin and Honey Dijon salad dressing atop a spinach salad or lightly drizzle onto grilled pears.
Sesame Oil: Use this as a key component in numerous sauces, dressings, and Asian inspired dishes. Try our Watermelon & Spinach Salad as Chef Jen incorporates sesame oil into H3’s Mirin Flax Splash.