While many people believe that oil, as well as other types of fat, are unhealthy, there are actually many health benefits of oil. Not all oil is healthy. To get the most benefits from oil, it is important to understand what types of oil are healthy, and the benefits that they provide. Once you make the decision to add healthy oils to your diet, it is important to use them in place of other, less healthy fats. Simply adding these healthful oils to an unhealthy diet will not work.
When people discuss the health benefits of oil, olive oil is often the first on the list. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats. These fats lower the risk of heart disease in several ways. They reduce total levels of cholesterol, as well as the bad, LDL levels. Olive oil can also raise the levels of HDL, or good, cholesterol in the blood.
Recent studies by the Food and Drug Administration point to evidence that consuming 2 tablespoons of olive oil each day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. In addition to the heart healthy benefits of olive oil it has other benefits as well. Olive oil, especially extra virgin and virgin olive oil, contains high levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that can reduce the effects of aging on the body.
Olive oil is minimally processed, which makes it particularly easy to digest. It also seems to increase the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones. This combination makes olive oil a good addition to the diet of anyone suffering from gallstones, ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil may also reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
The health benefits of oil need to include a discussion on fish oil. Fish oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids. These provide many benefits to the body, including a decrease in the incidence of colon cancer, lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and anti-aging protection for the brain.
Fatty fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, but many people do not eat the two serving a week required to get the recommended dose. Other people enjoy fish, but are concerned about the mercury content of various species of freshwater and ocean fish. Regardless of the reason, if you are not eating two servings of fish each week, a fish oil supplement will benefit your health. Some people dislike the aftertaste of fish oil supplements, while others suffer from heartburn after taking the pills. Both of these problems can be reduced or eliminated by taking the supplement before meals.
Any discussion of the health benefits of oil must include coconut oil. Coconut oil is made up mainly of saturated fat, which concerns many people. One of the best uses for coconut oil is in cooking. The high levels of saturated fat make coconut oil ideal for cooking. Heat destroys many of the qualities in olive oil, and other oils convert to harmful trans fats when heated.
Coconut oil is easily utilized as energy. It contains fewer calories than many oils, and the calories are efficiently converted by the body to increase endurance and energy levels. In addition, the fat in coconut oil does not show the propensity to accumulate around the heart and inside the arteries as other types of saturated fats.
Coconut oil contains high levels of lauric acid, which many researchers believe helps to prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It may also help prevent arthrosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties, which help to reduce signs of aging and age related diseases.