A slippery topic: oil, olio, huile, Öl

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Jun 2, 2003
I haven't been keeping up on what type oil or fat is currently the least unhealthy. Here's what I think I know: - Saturated fat is bad, partially hydrogenated fat is worst - Should we choose mono or polyunsaturated oil? It seems the consensus changes every few years. Where do we currently stand? - We need Omega-6, but we get more than enough of it in our average diet. - We also need Omega-3, because our body can't make it. Omega-3 is in short supply through the average diet. Mercury-free fish oil caps are probably the safest choice. - Some oils, like flax seed oil, are more prone to stimulate bad eicosanoid production. I remember flax seed oil was once shunned, but now it's suddenly good -- unless you are the owner of an older prostate gland. [Razz] I'm not using much fat at all anyway. I've been using cold-pressed virgin olive oil and safflower oil. Sometimes I use walnut oil. When baking, I stick with butter, because I find any other fat objectionable in baked goods. Who can catch me up?
I don't mind turning this topic into an etymology lesson. The Spanish word for olive is "aceituna," which is a word that has its root in the Arabic word for "olive." Blame the moors and their influence on the Spaniards. In Portuguese, the word for olive is also azeitona, but they use "óleo" for oil. The connection between olive trees, their fruit and oil is obviously clear. Romance languages have frequently borrowed words from not only other Indo-European languages, but also from Arabic. For example, admiral, alcohol, algebra, camel, carat, cotton, influenza, lemon, monsoon, orange, Scirocco, sugar, typhoon and zero, to just name a few, are all words that are derived from Arab words.
At 52 I'm probably one of the luckiest guys around. Eat embarasing amounts of bacon, butter saturated baked potato, biscuits dripping with butter, and on and on. two weeks ago had blood work done by excellent cardiologist and am within two points of perfect "good: fat level and about five points over average excellent "bad" fat level! Only past heart problems related to nicotene (off smokes since last Thanksgiving" and stress (still gotta make a living, oh well). Bob
I think the myth is very slowly dieing about fat intake and instant death. [Smile] Studies are showing simple carb intake and the body's ability to make enough of it's own nasty compounds may finish you off more rapidly than a teaspoon of tropical oil. This is not a prescription to eat "embarasing (sic) amounts of bacon" - just to say fat paranoia should not rule your life. Mori - sounds about right. I think the new info might be: Use the correct oil for the circumstance, don't chug palm oil or deep fry in flax oil and the freshness of certain oils might effect you more than the double bond count between oils. I love your grasp of languages. Good stuff - believe or not I'm so used to thinking food things in Italian I had forgotten the Spanish word for the olive itself!
One of the most healthy oils out there is Rice Bran Oil which has high oxidation stability factor as well as lowering 40% more cholestrol than Olive oil due to it being orazynol rich.
Increasingly poly oils are coming under the spotlight as ptoentially causing issues. Pork fat is the better of a lot of the animal fats. Hydrogenated is bad.
I'll have to see where I can find rice bran oil. I suppose it has a neutral flavor? Mmmm, pork! [Smile]
If you use olive oil for most cooking, it's probably the healthiest alternative for most people that is readily available in the local US grocery store. Some of the alternatives might be healthier in certain ways, but you might have to hunt in weird places to find them and then pay through the nose. For example, grapeseed oil has been labeled as an extremely healthy oil, but the only ready source I know of is Watkins mail or Internet order. By the same token, some upmarket grocery stores here carry walnut and other nut/seed oils, but they cost $$$. With nut oils, you must also worry about the food allergy issue that increasing numbers of people "seem" to have. [Roll Eyes] (Excuse my cynical Graemlin, but on that issue I have a certain amount of skepticism.) Rice bran oil? On my next trip to the Asian grocery that is 80 miles away in Virginia Beach I might have to look for it, but you see the issue I refer to. Olive oil isn't suitable for everything, especially baking most foods or deep frying, but it's a good all-purpose oil. Watch using extra virgin for frying, Moribundman, as it smokes and burns much easier than normal grades. Save the extra virgin for salads.
I love your grasp of languages.
I wish I were a better typist. [Wink]
Watch using extra virgin for frying, Moribundman, as it smokes and burns much easier than normal grades. Save the extra virgin for salads.
For at least the the past decade I have used safflower oil for frying. I can't stand the taste of olive oil on fried stuff. I also don't cremate my food. I use very little oil anyway. Maybe 1/2 a teaspoon for a medium size pan.
Moribundman, Check out www.ricela.com for more info on Rice Bran Oil and how it compares to other, been using it for the last 8 years, its totally odorless and has no after taste so it lends itself nicely to any kind of cooking, safflower oil is very popular here but personally never could stand the taste of it.
I find safflower to be comparatively neutral. Usually only highly refined oils can be totally neutral. If rice bran oil is more neutral that safflower oil, great. I'll go hunting for it this weekend!
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