One of the most common ingredients used for both cooking and baking is vegetable oil. You have to add oil even when making omelette, one of the most popular dishes ever – if you need a brand new omelette maker and you are searching for a list of options, check it out here. The main reason why vegetable oil is so versatile and popular is its subtle flavor that does not interfere with the taste of the other ingredients that you are using.
Is Vegetable oil healthy?
Not all vegetable oils are equally healthy. One issue that dieticians and other health specialists have when it comes to vegetable oil is the fact that this type of oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids.
As you probably know, moderate consumption of omega-6 acids is good for your health. However, given the high amount of acids that this oil contains, it can actually increase the risk of developing skin cancer. By consuming vegetable oil, an imbalance between the ratio of omega-3 and omega 6 acids is likely to occur. This type of imbalance often causes inflammation.
Moreover, vegetable oil is usually packed with a lot of chemicals and additives, as the manufacturer has to use chemicals to extract the oils from the seeds of the plants. These chemicals can, however, cause a multitude of health issues, including infertility, high cholesterol as well as some behavioral problems in children. Because pesticides are used when growing the plants, they can also be present in this oil.
Some alternatives you should know about
If you are out of oil, or if you are looking for alternatives to use instead of regular vegetable oil, here is a list of products that you can opt for instead.
Given that sunflower oil is one of the main ingredients used when making vegetable oil, it could be argued that using it as an alternative is one of the easiest choices. Moreover, this oil is rich in vitamin E, it can strengthen the immune system, and, according to some research, it can improve digestion. However, it should be added that, because sunflower oil includes high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids, it might not be a good option for some.
This oil has a neutral taste and it can withstand high heat and, thus it can be utilized for baking, roasting, deep-frying as well as shallow-frying.
Canola oil is another good pick, especially if you are looking for a flavorless oil. When compared to the other cooking oils, canola oil has low saturated fats. It also has a high smoke point and it is suitable for grilling and baking.
Canola oil only has 7% of saturated fats and it contains vitamins K and E, the two vitamins that are known for reducing cholesterol levels. Some reports argue that it can help reduce skin problems such as spots, blemishes, fine lines, and acne.
If you plan on baking or cooking a recipe that can do with some coconut flavor, coconut oil is one alternative you should consider. It is a great pick if you want to make brownies, muffins, or cakes and it can also be used for frying.
One aspect that should be noted is that coconut oil has a solid consistency at room temperature. So, you might have to melt it before you add it in. Usually, this oil is used as an alternative to butter by vegans. It is rich in antioxidants and it is low in calories.
If you have never used coconut oil for cooking, you should know that this oil comes in two forms, refined, and unrefined. Refined oil is processed more and, as a result, it has a neutral scent as well as a mild flavor. It has a smoke point of 450 Fahrenheit degrees and it is made of dried coconuts. Sometimes, chemicals are added to make it.
Unrefined coconut oil is much more flavored and it has a more powerful scent. It is made of fresh coconuts and it has a lower smoke point at 350 Fahrenheit degrees.
One of the most popular alternatives for vegetable oil is olive oil. This versatile ingredient can be used for cooking, but it might not be a great purchase if you intend to use it when baking. It has a very distinct taste and a robust aroma that can give your dishes a bit more flavor.
When it comes to olive oil, there are two different types of oil that you can choose between, extra virgin, and virgin oil. Virgin olive oil is made of olives, and it features no chemicals added. However, when compared to extra virgin olive oil, this type of oil has a lighter color, as well as a more neutral flavor.
Butter is a very creamy and tasty alternative that you should not overlook. It contains saturated fats as well as vitamins A, K, and E. It is considered the go-to alternative when making baked goods.
Still, butter is higher in calories and it is the type of ingredient that is difficult to cook with as it tends to get burnt easily.
If you like avocado, you’ll probably love avocado oil, as it is extracted from the fruit. It is rich in oleic acid, a type of acid that can reduce inflammation. This oil is creamy and buttery and it has a high smoke point that makes it suitable for both cooking and baking. You can also use this oil when making marinades and dressings.
If you invest in unrefined avocado oil, you will be able to enjoy numerous health benefits as this oil is high in good fats, as well as vitamin E. According to a study carried out in 2005, a diet that includes regular consumption of avocado might help one absorb carotenoids easier.
Still, it should be added that, when compared to the other types of oils that are available, avocado oil is a bit pricier.
If you love to bake, and you are searching for a healthy substitute for vegetable oil, one of the most popular options that you can try is applesauce. Applesauce is recommended as an alternative for oil because it has fewer calories and because it can make you baked goods have a smoother texture.
However, for best results, it is advisable that you replace half the oil with applesauce, and that you use another oil as well. Applesauce is a great alternative when cooking muffins, brownies, cookies, and cakes.
If you are short on applesauce, you can use any other fruit puree that you have available. For instance, you can mash bananas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or pears.
Flaxseed, or linseed oil
Flaxseed oil or linseed oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant flaxseed. Because this type of oil burns easily, you cannot use it when cooking. Instead, it can be utilized for marinades, dressings, and other similar applications.
This oil can help reduce inflammation, it can benefit the heart and it can improve the health of your skin. If you use too much flaxseed oil, there is a chance that you might suffer from diarrhea or bloating. Therefore, you should use it in moderation.
If you want to bake your favorite treat, but you do not want to use oil, one very practical alternative is yogurt. If you decide to add yogurt to your recipes instead of oil, the resulting product will be more tender.
To make sure that your baked goods do not have an acidic taste, you can add some vanilla essence. Another tip you should consider is to opt for a low-fat type of yogurt that is not very flavored. Of course, if you want to use a fattier type of yogurt, you can opt for Greek yogurt, as it is much creamier. Yet, this also means that it will make your baked goods have a slightly more pronounced tangy taste.
It is recommended that you substitute half the quantity of the oil that you have to add for a recipe with ¾ the amount of yogurt.
No matter if you want to cook or bake, there are plenty of alternative products that you can use instead of vegetable oil. However, before you do so, make sure that you use the right ratio of the substitute and that the flavor of the oil is suitable for the recipe that you are preparing. Plus, don’t forget to check the smoke point of the oil that you are using.