Day 11 Eating Clean Mini Challenge: No refined or hydrogenated oils including (but not limited to): vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, margarine, and grape seed oil.
Olive oil, for example, that is unrefined, uses olives that have been pressed to extract the oil, but the oil itself hasn’t been filtered, heated, treated with chemicals, and so on. In other words, without getting too technical, it’s in its pure state.
Overall, it is best to consume unrefined oils.
Many of the oils used in the modern American diet are hazardous to our health. They are processed, cleaned with chemicals, and most come from genetically modified corn, canola or soy. Most oils found on the grocery store aisles are heated to very high temperatures during processing; this heat oxidizes the oils. Oxidation also creates free radicals that can damage the cells of our bodies so it is best to avoid them. The processing increases the shelf-life of the oils (remember when I mentioned that on Day 4 in the video message to our Facebook group) and removes most of the natural flavoring, making them more attractive for the industrial food industry, but less attractive to the consumer. Vegetable oils, like canola and corn oil, are usually made with genetically modified corn, canola, and soy. So, I suggest you limit the use of those oils and stick with unrefined oils.
Here’s an easy checklist of oils to avoid:
Organic Vegetable Oil
Organic Canola Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Any oil that is labeled as refined, hydrogenated, partially-hydrogenated
Oils to use:
Coconut Oil - When buying coconut oil, make sure you buy organic, unrefined, centrifuged oil. To receive the maximum benefits you really want to find the best oil possible. Coconut oil is extremely stable so it is great to use when higher heat is necessary. In a typical recipe, coconut oil can be used as a replacement for other oils 1:1. If you are sautéing, however, I have found that you need less coconut oil than you may initially think (due to low water content), so use it very sparingly.
Butter - best is organic and grass fed but regular butter will do for this challenge! Go for unsalted.
Olive Oil - When buying olive oil, look for oil that is extra virgin, cold-pressed, and unfiltered.
Sesame oil is a stable oil that is great for cooking at high heats.
Red palm oil is a beautifully rich red oil that contains oleic and linoleic acid.
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3s and should be kept refrigerated until consumed. Since heat will oxidize this oil, it should not be used to cook with, but rather only added to salads, smoothies, and other cold foods. It is best to use this oil in small quantities because the body absorbs it slowly. I add Flaxseed oil to Asher's Smoothies to bump up his calorie level because he has a hard time putting on weight!
Lard – preferably from organic, pastured animals
Ghee (clarified butter) – good to use at high temperatures
Tallow – preferably from organic, pastured animals
Avocado oil – good to use at high temperatures
Although cooking at home with healthy oils can be an easy switch, it can be far more difficult to find processed foods cooked with healthy fats. Make sure to read the labels on packaged foods to know what kinds of oils were used and choose products that use the most healthy ingredients. Gord and I have found avocado oil chips that are a nice treat once and a while and I love knowing that they are cooked without canola or another unhealthy refined oil!
Start small with this challenge and work towards eating more and more unrefined oils. If you have never used coconut oil maybe try purchasing some today and using it for cooking and baking in your home! We often use coconut oil for grilled cheese instead of butter, especially when the butter is hard in the fridge or we have run out! Coconut oil is great for so many uses including moisturizing the skin!
Comment below "All in" if your are participating in today's Challenge and head over to the Facebook event to share how you are incorporating today's mini challenge into your day!