Friday, November 12, 2010

Vegetable Oils

"When making generic vegetable oil, the goal is to create a flavorless, odorless, mostly colorless product as efficiently as possible. That’s done using a process called solvent extraction, in which the base plant (e.g., soybeans) is ground up and mixed with a chemical solvent. The most commonly used solvent is hexane, which boils at a low temperature. The hexane dissolves the oil, then the solid plant matter is removed and the remaining mixture is heated so that the solvent evaporates, leaving behind only the oil. The oil is flavorless and odorless because the volatile compounds responsible for the taste and smell also evaporate when heated. Taylor says only trace amounts of solvent are left behind, if any."

I Eated A ButterHmmm, I don't think this makes me want to eat vegetable oil anymore, lol!   Solvent in oil, ew!!  It has been a long time since I have purposefully used it, although I bought some to use in soap making to see how it works.  

The problem is, it is so prevalent in foods. How to avoid it?

Don't eat packaged foods!

Simple but efficient.

Canola especially is becoming a real problem. It is everywhere and being touted as the healthiest fat there is. Sally Fallon wrote an article about this that should be read if you haven't already:  The Great Con-ola by Sally Fallon

I grew up thinking that fat was bad. Butter was bad. Real mayo was bad. We ate fakey margarine and fakey mayo, low or no fat. Skim milk. Fat and skin cut off meat (although we secretly ate it and loved it!).

What I am now learning is that fat is good. Our cells need it, our brains need it, it is healing and nourishing *IF* you eat the right kinds. Kids need fat to develop. We need it to be satiated. Fat does not make you fat.  I don't claim to be an expert on it but I do know that we've been duped. I still have a lot to learn because even though I read and read, the science is hard for me to understand. However, I do not need to fully understand the mechanisms of how our bodies need fat in order to know how much better I feel and how much better things taste with good healthy fats.

A quick list of the best fats are as follows (I do not have all the healthy fats listed as many are unavailable where I live):
-olive oil (best if not heated)
-coconut oil

Animal fats are best from grass fed, organic sources but I know for me, it is literally impossible to find (other than what fat comes on the meat, and it isn't much). Coconut oil is great for the metabolism and it is food for high temperature cooking, such as frying (I can't afford enough of it for that purpose since it is very expensive here). No fats should be hydrogenated. That is a whole other kettle of bad news for health.

So basically, don't be scared of fats as long as they are the right kind! They are good for you and your body will thank you for nourishing it :)