Cooking oils play a crucial part in our meals, and in my clinic they are frequently asked about. I understand this can be a minefield, so I hope to break it down and simplify it for you.

Whether frying, baking or making salad dressings, we all need oils to cook our food. However, not all cooking oils are created equal. Seed oils, such as rapeseed and sunflower, have become quite popular in recent years. Unfortunately, most people don’t know that these oils might not be the healthiest option for cooking. This blog post discusses cooking oils, their different properties, and why avoiding seed oils (like rapeseed and sunflower) might be the best decision for you and your family.

With so many options out there, it’s important to understand the different properties of each oil. One oil that has been gaining popularity recently is rapeseed oil and one that I personally tend to avoid.

But is Rapeseed Oil really a good option for cooking?

Cooking oils are made from different sources, including plants and animals. They differ in several aspects, including their smoke point (the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke and produce toxic fumes), flavour profile, and fat composition (saturated, unsaturated, or polyunsaturated).

The Dangers of Seed Oils

Seed oils (often called vegetable oils) are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). While these fatty acids are essential for our body, consuming too much of them can result in an imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This imbalance has been linked to several health problems, including inflammation, heart disease, and cancer. Furthermore, seed oils are highly processed and often treated with chemicals to extract the oil, making them potentially harmful to our health.

Low smoke point

One of the main reasons why rapeseed oil isn’t great for cooking is because it has a relatively low smoke point. This means that it starts to smoke and break down at a lower temperature compared to other oils. When oil reaches its smoke point, it can produce harmful compounds that can affect the taste and nutritional quality of your food. For high heat cooking methods like frying and grilling, it’s best to use oils with a higher smoke point like avocado or coconut oil.

High in omega-6 fatty acids

Another drawback of rapeseed oil is its high omega-6 fatty acid content. While omega-6 fatty acids are essential for our health, consuming too much of them can lead to inflammation in the body. Unfortunately, many Western diets are already high in omega-6 and low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. By using rapeseed oil regularly in cooking, you could be adding to this imbalance.

Refined vs. cold-pressed

Not all rapeseed oils are created equal. Some brands use a chemical refining process to extract the oil, which can strip away important nutrients and create unwanted byproducts. On the other hand, cold-pressed rapeseed oil retains more of its natural flavour and nutrients but can be more expensive and harder to find. If you do choose to use rapeseed oil, look for a high-quality, organic – cold-pressed variety.

GMO concerns

Rapeseed is one of the crops that is commonly genetically modified. While GMOs are still a controversial topic, many people are concerned about the potential long-term effects of consuming GMO foods. If you want to avoid GMOs in your cooking, it may be best to steer clear of rapeseed oil altogether.

Alternatives to rapeseed oil

If you’re looking for healthier and more versatile options for cooking, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Some of our favorites include olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and ghee. Each of these oils has unique properties and flavours that can enhance your cooking and keep your body happy.

While rapeseed oil may be marketed as a healthy and sustainable option for cooking, it has some significant drawbacks that make it less than ideal. From its low smoke point to its high omega-6 content and potential GMO concerns, there are many reasons to avoid using rapeseed oil regularly. Instead, consider trying some of the many delicious and nourishing alternatives available to you. Your taste buds – and your body – will thank you!

When shopping for oils, it’s essential to read the labels carefully and avoid oils, such as rapeseed and sunflower oil. Look for oils that are cold-pressed and unrefined, as they contain more nutrients and health benefits. Also, choose oils that are in dark-colored bottles to protect them from light and prevent oxidation. I prefer oils in glass bottles over plastic ones.

I hope that gives you a better understanding of why I choose not to use Rapeseed Oil!

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