4 Healthy Substitutes for Vegetable Oil
Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about what goes into their bodies – and rightly so. There seems to be a growing health awareness about the type of ingredients we add to our cooking. Every fat content, every calorie intake, every cholesterol is being put under the microscope. If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you are also riding the “healthy eating” wave. There have been many recent debates concerning the health risks of cooking with vegetable oil, especially when modern society already consumes vegetable oil in large quantities on a daily basis. So what is the healthy alternative if you want a break from vegetable oil? In this article, we will consider some healthy substitutes for vegetable oil.
The Dangers of Vegetable Oil
Many nutritionists are beginning to tag vegetable oil as unhealthy, while others are not too convinced. However, the truth is that there are a lot of vegetable oil brands that are not organic. These types are packed with a lot of the chemical solvents that they are processed with. There are other brands of vegetable oil that contain monounsaturated fat and some containing polyunsaturated fat. Recent studies have also shown that consuming high amounts of vegetable oils causes inflammation. The bigger danger here is that our modern society consumes large quantities of vegetable oil on a daily basis. And this is alarming as vegetable oil consumption has been associated with diseases such as cancer, high cholesterol, sterility, and infertility. This is because of the number of chemicals that are used in extracting the oil from the seeds. Thus, if you have the responsibility of putting food on the table for your loved ones, you should be concerned about what you put into the food.
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Healthy Vegetable Oil Substitutes
Fortunately, there are a number of healthy substitutes for vegetable oil, and we shall take a good look at all of them.
- Olive Oil
Can you use olive oil instead of vegetable oil? The simple answer is yes. This is because olive oil is one of the best types of oil for cooking based on the numerous health advantages it offers. First of all, you do not have to worry about the presence of chemical solvents as they are not used in the making of olive oil. Secondly, olive oil contains antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential in boosting the capacities of our bodies to fight off several kinds of diseases. Furthermore, unlike vegetable oil (which has been proven to cause inflammation), olive oil does the exact opposite. It is packed with oleic acid, which plays a huge role in reducing inflammation. Some research has shown that cooking with olive oil instead of vegetable oil helps to lower the risks of stroke and other heart conditions. Olive oil is also highly recommended for people who struggle with high blood pressure as it has been proven to lower the condition. But that’s not all; olive oil is also reduces the risk of type two diabetes. The advantages that olive oil holds over vegetable oil are numerous. Most users also believe that oil makes their cooking tastes better.
Butter is not the favorite for most people when it comes to alternatives for vegetable oil. However, it is very healthy to substitute butter for vegetable oil as the former has a number of advantages over vegetable oil. The problem that most people have with butter as an alternative is calorie content. Most people think that butter contains more calories than vegetable oil. But a careful juxtaposition of the nutritional benefits of the two paints a different picture as it proves that butter is a far better option. Aside from the fact that vegetable oil contains more processed chemicals compared to butter, butter is also rich in vitamins D, A, and vitamin E. Plus, butter has been proven to add more flavor to your cooking and improve the taste. There have been some concerns about the presence of saturated fat in butter and its connection with cholesterol. However, research has proven that saturated fat obtained from animal sources has no relation to high cholesterol. Yet, it is important to be measured in the intake of butter.
Applesauce is an excellent substitute for vegetable oil in baking. Aside from the fact that it is a healthier option, it also adds more moisture and flavor. Applesauce is also a good source of fiber and vitamin C – two things that are not present in vegetable oil. Fiber is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive system, while vitamin C plays a role in boosting our immune system and general health. Furthermore, applesauce contains fewer calories when compared with vegetable oil. The caution here, however, is to control your intake as too much consumption of applesauce can be unhealthy. Another caution here is that there are some brands of applesauce that are sweetened and not organic. It is important to always opt for unsweetened and organic applesauce as it is not high in fructose and does not contain so much unhealthy sugar. Thus, if you are looking for a healthy substitute for vegetable oil in cake, then applesauce is one of your best bets.
- Coconut Oil
Just like butter, a lot of people are hesitant about replacing vegetable oil with coconut oil. The concern that most people have about coconut oil is the presence of saturated fat. But when compared with vegetable oil, coconut oil offers a far healthier option as vegetable oil contains unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat can be linked to several health conditions. This is because unsaturated fat plays a huge role in producing free radicals. Unsaturated fat is also very unhealthy for the heart as it is the cause of several heart diseases. Saturated fat, on the other hand, has been proven to have a neutral effect on the heart. This is because of the presence of medium-chain triglycerides that support the production of “good cholesterol” in the body.
In conclusion, there are several healthier substitutes for vegetable oil. However, the keyword is always moderation, as too much consumption of anything can be unhealthy. Other healthy substitutes of vegetable oil not discussed in this article are avocado oil, yogurt, flaxseed oil, and sesame oil.