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Oils and fats are absolutely necessary in our diet. They not only help our body function but more importantly help our brain function.
There are many options to choose from at the grocery store, but they aren’t all the same. Some are better than others which can be noticed not only in the flavor but also in the price. Good oils are more expensive than their refined counterparts. So the question is, what ‘s your health worth to you?
Today I’d like to talk about 4 different types of oil. These four are the best ones you can find at the grocery store. Their flavor is unbeatable and the quality and nutritional value of each one is excellent. Two of them are very well-known globally and the other two might be lesser-known but are just as good. We’re talking about Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Hazelnut Oil. So let’s get started!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Otherwise known as “liquid gold” is the most well-known oil out of the four not only for its availability but also for its price. It’s a staple in the Mediterranean diet and is part of the Spanish gastronomy culture with a wide range of high-quality products.
Olive oil has great antioxidant power and contains Vitamin E as well as polyphenols (it is one of the greatest sources of this antioxidant) and carotenes. Thanks to its make up it can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In order to take full advantage of all its health benefits it’s better to eat it raw, however it can also be used in cooking as it can withstand temperatures ranging from 160ºC to 207ºC (depending on its quality and its acidity). The price range is between 4 and 8€ which you can find at your local grocery store or online (in Spain). A good way to save money is to buy 5 liters at a time. You can always fill up a glass bottle for everyday use and store away the rest until it’s ready to be used.
Olive oil can be used as a salad dressing or it can be used to make mayonnaise or vinaigrettes. It’s perfect for sauteeing and frying since its flavor goes very well with vegetables, meats, and eggs. If you use an oil low in acidity (oil with a milder flavor) you can even incorporate it into sweet recipes such as cakes.
Considered to be a “superfood” it’s one of the best fats that exist as it helps you lose weight. It’s a great source of energy for our brains and is becoming increasingly common to find it in Spain.
In Latin America where it is produced, it has been used for centuries and is a part of their traditional cuisine.
Coconut oil adds a great flavor to foods and goes well with both sweet and savory recipes. It’s one of the oils which is able to withstand the highest temperatures as it has a smoking point of 232ºC. Due to its ability to resist heat, it’s perfect for frying but it’s also ideal raw. Those of you who follow the blog may have seen that just a teaspoon of coconut oil in a smoothie makes it rich and creamy while also adding a tropical touch. Not to mention the nutritional value that is added when using it as it’s a great source of vitamin E, K, and Iron.
Coconut oil ranges in price from 13 to 18€. The truth is that while it is a bit more expensive then olive oil it has many health benefits and a little goes along. Besides, it’s not only useful in cooking but is great for homemade hair creams and masks.
Hazelnut oil is the least known product on the list, especially as many people usually associate it with beauty treatments rather than for food. However, it has some important properties and health benefits and is highly recommended to reduce high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
An unsaturated fatty acid with vitamins A and E, calcium, magnesium, and selenium. Its got a mild flavor and is perfect for desserts and smoothies. However it’s also able to withstand high temperatures as it has a smoke point of 221ºC, so you can also use it to cook without worrying that it will burn.
The average price of this type of oil is € 16 per liter, it’s expensive but reasonable for specific recipes.
Is one of the purest and least processed oils on the market. Anyone who has ever opened up an avocado has seen the oil it produces without even doing anything to it.
Like the avocado itself, it has incredible nutritional properties, potassium, phosphorous, iron, beta-carotene, magnesium, copper, folic acid, vitamins B, E, and K…in other words, an explosion of nutrition.
This unrefined oil is capable of withstanding high temperatures of between 190ºC to 204ºC, perfect for cooking or serving raw. It helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and provides pregnant women with great nutritional benefits.
The only downside about this oil is its price. It’s usually sold in small bottles since almost no one would buy it otherwise as the price can reach and exceed € 40 per liter. Making this the most expensive oil on the list without a doubt. This oil, both for its price and its exclusivity, is for special occasions and to be used in moderation. None the less it’s a very interesting way to give a dish that gourmet touch.
All of these oils are wonderful for our mind and body and even though some are more exclusive than others due to their price, they are all worth it thanks to their spectacular health benefits.