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The Best Healthy Cooking Oils for Weight Loss

Despite oils being calorically dense, oils may actually assist in dropping unwanted pounds. Find out the best healthy cooking oils for weight loss and how to fit them into a balanced diet.

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From low-fat diets to going full-fat with keto, dietary fat is often misunderstood. But including healthy fats in a balanced diet is essential for a variety of vital body functions.

Cooking oils are also great for elevating flavor to many dishes while offering many health benefits. Because unlike trans fats, healthy fats found in many oils can help people lose weight and support a healthy heart.

Find out which healthy oils are best for weight loss and just how to use them in cooking!

The Best Cooking Oils for Weight Loss

Before diving into healthy cooking oils for weight loss, keep one concept in mind. Oils are rich in calories no matter the type.

On average, one tablespoon of oil packs on an additional 120 calories. And since weight loss largely occurs when calories out exceed calories in, stay mindful of portions and servings.

But most nutrition experts agree adding healthy oils to foods may help increase satiety or feelings of fullness. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of overeating and keep calories innately controlled.

From olive oil to seed oil, below lists healthy cooking oils for weight loss that also provide impressive health properties and benefits!

Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the most popular oils, even one of the best healthy cooking oils for weight loss. The oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, which has shown to reduce cholesterol levels and lower after-meal blood sugars.

Suggested uses of olive oil depend on the quality level purchased. For instance, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is mostly recommended when wanting to naturally highlight raw flavors. It is unrefined, boasts higher aromas, and comes with a higher price tag. In cooking, virgin or pure olive oil is commonly used to withstand the heat without compromising its integrity.

The versatile flavor makes it adaptable to a wide mix of foods such as mixing into salad dressings or baking chicken.

Canola Oil

Like olive oil, canola oil is largely used in cooking but for good reasons! Canola oil offers a neutral flavor and high smoke point, thus retaining its quality even when brought to a high temperature. This makes it ideal for sautéing, baking, and stir-frying.

The oil contains lesser amounts of antioxidants compared to olive oil. However, it features beneficial alpha-linolenic acid, a kind of omega-3 fatty acid. Alpha-linolenic acid displays anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cardiovascular disorders.

Coconut Oil

To further the confusion of weight loss and dietary fat, the saturated fat-containing coconut oil lands itself on the list! Worth mentioning, though, the American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat intake to no more than 6 percent of total calories.

Despite the stigma regarding saturated fat and poor health, coconut oil is a valuable source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike long-chain triglycerides, it is thought MCTs are not stored in the fat cells. This type of fat may be easier digested than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) from vegetable oils, dairy products, and fatty meats.

Small research studies have shown coconut oil has lead to slight weight loss and provides some additional surprising health benefits. These include a strengthened immune system and improved mood. Coconut may also lower triglyceride, blood pressure, and total cholesterol levels.

In the kitchen, coconut oil can be used as a substitute for butter and margarine. The oil offers a "coconutty" flavor and aroma and is suitable for baking, roasting, frying, and sautéing.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil offers an intense aroma and flavor and should be used lightly. Its lower smoking point makes it valuable in lower heat stir-fries, soups, and veggies. Sesame oil can also flavor sauces and dressings.

Polyunsaturated fat mostly comprises the oil, though it supplies moderate amounts of monounsaturated as well. The combination of the two fats have shown to be heart-healthy and offer anti-inflammatory properties.

Tea Seed Oil

Though not as widely used or popularized as the oils mentioned above, it certainly should not go unnoticed.

Also known as camellia oil, the tea seed oil is extracted from the seeds of tea plants. Like green tea, tea seed oil displays powerful antioxidant properties that may protect against aging. The antioxidants may reduce LDL (or "bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well.

The high smoke point coins it as one of the best oils to cook with for weight loss!

Avocado Oil

Avocados are unique due to the fact they supply monounsaturated fats, which is greatly rare amongst fruits. The oil boasts with other beneficial nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E and powerful antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

Avocado oil bares a high smoke point, making it ideal for sautéing and frying. It likewise can be used as a dipping and salad oil and enhance the flavor of animal proteins and vegetables.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil contains polyunsaturated and alpha-linolenic acid. It is suggested to treat a wide variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, and constipation.

Flaxseed oil does have a low smoke point of about 225°F. So, do not cook with it using a high temperature. Instead, incorporate the oil into meals after heating or add to salad dressings and sauces.

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on April 17, 2017. Updated on October 24, 2019.

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