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Reasons Why Paleo Oils and Fats Beat Traditional Options

Carlie Kennedy

Reasons Why Paleo Oils and Fats Beat Traditional Options

When talking about oils and fats, the choice we had in the past was much easier. All of the dietary fats that we ate came straight from our food and their type depended purely from our current geographical location – we consumed what we could find.

We also consumed wild animal carcasses with all the visceral fat and organs they had and scavenged for plants which had high levels of oil in them. In those ancient times, our fatty acids were balanced by such a diet. This is why people are turning to these old fat and oil sources.

However, times have changed and now our technology allows us to get these oils from all the vegetable seeds, the most common oils include rapeseed (canola oil), soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, peanut, cottonseed, and many others.

The problem is that this yield is mostly unnatural and it makes the whole thing dangerous for a regular diet.

You don’t have to take my word on this and that’s why I went through various studies and expert opinions to present you with facts. So let’s start with the good guys.

Paleo oils and fats

 

The majority of animal fats including chicken, lard and duck fat have the ability to withstand high temperatures. They don’t oxidize nor become rancid when used for cooking unless cooked to their smoking point, and then they become dangerous. All paleo oils have a high smoking point even when they are unrefined. The healthiest solution is to find unrefined oils, but still you have to learn on which temperature they can be cooked so that you don’t burn them.

 

Still, not all of them can be used for frying and cooking and you need to choose wisely if you want to prepare your food on healthy fats and oils. Some of the best products you can use for salads and other cold foods include:

 

Olive oil

Avocado oil

Unrefined Hazelnut

Almond oil

Walnut oil

Macadamia nut oil

However, some of these paleo oils and fats can be used for cooking but like I mentioned before you must know which ones. A lot of people think that they are all safe for frying but this isn’t true. Here are the ones you can use and their smoke temperature. Based on the type of meal you are preparing, you should choose from these products, however bear in mind that most of the foods are prepared on temperatures from 170°C to 240°C.

 

Best paleo oils and fats for cooking

Cooking Oils / Fats

Smoke Point °C

Omega-6: Omega-3 Ratio (plus other relevant fat information)

Uses

Avocado oil

271°C

12:1, 70% monosaturated, (68% Omega-9 fatty acids) High in vitamin E.

Although this has a high heat point, it is very strong in flavour so I would recommend salad dressings or finishing dishes only.

Butter/Ghee

252°C

9:1, Mostly saturated & monosaturated

Use for frying, high heat stable , finishing dishes

Hazelnut oil

221°C

75% monosaturated (no Omega 3, 78% Omega 9)

Used for baking, finishing dishes, roasting.

Duck Fat

190 °C

 

Use for frying or roasting.

Macadamia nut oil

199°C

1:1, 80% monounsaturated, (83% Omega-9)

Can be used for baking, roasting, pan-frying, salad dressings.

Coconut oil

177°C

86% healthy saturated, lauric acid (has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties).  Contains 66% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Can be used for baking, roasting, pan-frying.

Extra virgin olive oil

160°C

73% monounsaturated, high in Omega 9

Can be used for baking, salads and cooking on low heat like browning mince or making a sauce.

 

Keep in mind that you should never try and heat them up to their exact smoke point. There are many others paleo oils that can be used, but the list above is the main ones. Some oils and fats may be of poorer quality and it’s always good to go at least 10 to 15 degrees lower.

Seed and vegetable oils

The industrial revolution and mass production have created highly processed seed and vegetable oils most of us eat today. They are processed in way that allows them to last a long time, so that manufacturers don’t waste any money. Some of those include corn oil, canola oil and soybean.

 

These highly processed oils and seeds have an enormously high level of omega 6 fatty acids. These acids, when consumed constantly, can cause severe health issues, but consuming them in normal doses creates no problems. The main issue is that these omega 6 fatty acids can be found in almost everything we eat today and not only highly processed oils. All of the meat that comes from livestock fed with grain is full of omega 6, hence why organic and grass fed meat is best option to go for if your budget allows.

 

When you realize that most of the food we eat is filled with these acids, it becomes clear why a lot of scientists have confirmed that there is a direct connection with a diet high in omega 6 and severe diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory diseases.

 

Additionally, these processed oils can easily become rancid or oxidize, turning them into toxic substances. Some people argue that their smoking points are high and that they are safe for cooking, but they actually have an unstable chemical structure and you should avoid them where possible.

Oils and fats you should avoid

Cooking Oils / Fats

Smoke Point °C

Omega-6: Omega-3 Ratio (plus other relevant fat information)

Vegetable shortening

182°C

mostly unhealthy saturated, Trans Fat

Sesame oil

210°C

42:1

Cottonseed oil

216°C

54:1

Grapeseed oil

216°C

676:1, (12% saturated, 17% monounsaturated)

Peanut oil

227°C

32:1

Sunflower oil

227°C

40:1

Palm oil

232°C

46:1, mostly saturated and monosaturated

Refined soy oil

232°C

8:1 (most are GMO)

Rice Bran Oil

254°C

21:1, Good source of vitamin E & antioxidants

 

 

I hope this information has been of some use to you and cleared up some questions you may have had around paleo oils and fats. Feel free to print out the charts for future reference.

Have a #fuelinggood day!

CK x



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