Olive oil is often the queen of our culinary preparations, followed by rapeseed and coconut oil, which are also always at hand in the kitchen. For the pleasure of our taste buds, a wide choice also exists in vegetable oils. Zoom on 7 lesser known oils with multiple virtues.
Above all, virgin oil is preferred which is obtained by cold extraction, by mechanical methods and without any refining treatment. In fact, when the temperature is high or the seeds undergo chemical treatments, the nutrients are destroyed. The seeds of a cold pressed oil are crushed and pressed at low temperature and without chemicals. In this way, all the nutrients are preserved. And most importantly, it is sourced from organic farming practices. An organic vegetable oil will always be cold pressed. The seeds and sprouts come from organic farming and, therefore, do not contain pesticides. They have preserved all their benefits.
Oils rich in omega-3
Omega-3s play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. They reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good (HDL). They are especially essential for the proper functioning of the brain and also the eyes.
1. Linseed oil
Linseed or flaxseed oil is the richest in omega-3 oil. They represent up to 60% of its total weight. It is very fragile, difficult to keep and poorly supports cooking. Under the action of light, air or heat, omega-3s react to the oxygen causing the rancidity of the oil and thus an alteration of its taste and smell. Store in a refrigerator and protect from light. Flax seeds are sources of essential fatty acids. A spoonful of flaxseed oil provides about 8g of omega-3. Flax seeds are also rich in vitamins B, C, E and K. They help to lower bad cholesterol and increase the good one.
How to consume it? With its light hazelnut flavor, flaxseed oil is perfect for making salad dressings, sauces such as pesto, carpaccio or vegetable or fish tartare.
2. Camelina oil
Very similar to the composition of flaxseed oil, camelina oil contains a significant amount of omega-3 (40%). Fragile, it does not support cooking and can quickly turn rancid. It contains vitamin E, a natural antioxidant and phytosterols that have a healing and restorative action. It also reduces inflammation.
How to consume it? This oil highlights the taste of crunchy vegetables. It is ideal for seasoning salads and raw vegetables or after cooking for your vegetables and cereals. Camelina oil should not be heated.
3. Hemp oil
Hemp oil is an everyday health ally thanks to its richness and balance in omega-3 and omega-6. These two essential fatty acids that our body does not produce and thus they must be supplemented by our diet. Hemp oil contains 52% omega-6 against 18% omega-3, which is a good balance. Hemp seeds are also a source of protein, minerals, vitamins and fiber.
How to consume it? The oil is used only raw. In salads, carpaccio or sushi and sashimi, it enhances the taste with its flavor reminiscent of nuts or hazelnuts.
4. Avocado oil
Naturally rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3), avocado oil helps prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. It also contains vitamin E, an antioxidant. Very rich in proteins and vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, H, K and PP), it brings many benefits to the skin and is used also in cosmetics. It also promotes good intestinal transit.
How to consume it? Avocado oil is used in seasoning, cooking and even frying without altering its nutritional qualities.
Oils rich in omega-6
In the US, we consume more omega-6 than omega-3. These fatty acids use the same enzymes and can interfere. Unlike omega-3s, omega-6s are much more present in our body and have an inflammatory effect. The idea is to balance its contributions in omega-3 and -6; not to ban it from our diet because omega-6s are involved in the immune system and mucous membranes but to be consumed with moderation.
5. Sesame oil
Sesame oil is very rich in unsaturated fatty acids, so it is recommended for our cardiovascular health. It also contains fiber, proteins and vitamins including vitamin E and mineral salts. Sesame oil contains lecithin and is the only one to contain sesamine, two natural antioxidants involved in the formation of nerve and brain cells. Sesamine stimulates antioxidant levels, decreases inflammation, regulates blood pressure. It also helps maintain a good level of vitamin E in the body. An antioxidant, it plays an essential role in the protection of the membrane of all the cells of the body.
How to consume it? Sesame oil has the advantage of being consumed cold or in cooking. It brings to the dishes an exotic note and is used especially in Asian dishes. It is added at the end of cooking.
6. Wheat germ oil
Normally consumed in the form of powder or flakes, wheat germ is rich in protein and fiber. Its interest lies in its content of vitamins (E, B1, B6, B9) and minerals (zinc, magnesium, iron…). Wheat germ oil is a natural antioxidant and helps protect cells against oxidative stress thanks to the vitamin E it contains. The oleic acid of the oil reinforces the action of vitamin E, naturally present in the wheat germ.
How to consume it? Orange-colored, this oil brings a taste of cereals to salads, cakes and savory pies.
7. Hazelnut and other nut oils
Nut oils and the oil of hazelnut in particular are rich in omega-9, but the body can make it. Oils containing omega-9 do not degrade during cooking. This oil is appreciated for its finesse and originality. As for walnut oil, it has a more interesting ratio of omega-3 (11% of the total weight) and -6 (52%).
How to consume them? Nut oils are used in seasoning with raw vegetables, salads and hazelnut oil to enhance the flavor of your dishes.