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The Ugly Truth About Vegetable Oil and How You Can Avoid It.

The Ugly Truth About Vegetable Oil and How You Can Avoid It.

Is oil healthy or unhealthy?

If you’re like most people, your answer will be unhealthy.

We associate oil with fat, and worry that it will make us gain weight. We think that too much oil can cause all sorts of harmful diseases.

That’s somewhat true, but it doesn’t give us the full story.

Most of the negative views we have around oil are based on highly-processed vegetable oils, which are often used in fast food, restaurants, and convenience foods.

While these vegetable oils can be bad for you, they’re not the only options.

Read on to find out exactly what’s wrong with vegetable oil, and what you should use instead.

Wait…what’s wrong with vegetable oil?

There are various different types of vegetable oil, which include:

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  • Corn
  • Sunflower
  • Canola
  • Soybean

Unlike more natural oils, which can be obtained by pressing, vegetable oils are obtained through a complex chemical process.

This process involves heating seeds to high temperatures, processing with a petroleum solvent, adding acid, and using deodorising chemicals. [1]

Doesn’t sound that appealing, does it?

It’s been shown that cooking with vegetable oils can release toxic chemicals which have been linked to cancer, heart disease and dementia. [2]

Many vegetable oils contain large amounts of trans fats, which are linked to obesity and various diseases, including cardiovascular disease. They can also increase your risk of conditions like asthma and eczema. [3]

Is this putting you off oil altogether?

Don’t despair.

We’ve listed plenty of healthy, delicious alternatives to vegetable oil below.

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How do I know which healthy oil I should use?

If you’re looking for a healthy fat to replace vegetable oil, you’re in the right place.

The oils below each have different benefits, and can be used in cooking, frying, baking, salad dressings, and more.

Read on for full details on each healthy fat.

1. Olive oil

    Olive oil is pressed from whole olives, and is available in a few different varieties.

    Extra virgin olive oil: Has a fruity taste, is low in acid, and is ideal for drizzling onto salads.

    Virgin olive oil: Has a pleasant taste and is fairly low in acid. Can be used for cooking or in salads.

    Olive oil: A blend of refined and virgin olive oil. Less flavourful than the other options, suitable for all purposes.

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    Olive oil has many health benefits, including: [4]

    • Helping protect against heart disease
    • Helping prevent strokes
    • Anti-inflammatory properties
    • Anti-bacterial properties

    For the greatest health benefits, choose extra virgin olive oil.

    2. Coconut oil

      Coconut oil is becoming really popular, and it’s easy to see why. It contains healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids, which are:

      • Easy to digest
      • Converted to energy, rather than stored as fat
      • Anti-fungal and anti-microbial

      There’s evidence to suggest that coconut oil can help keep the liver healthy, reduce the risk of heart disease, and boost the immune system. [5]

      3. Avocado oil

        Avocado oil isn’t just trendy – it also has some really unique health benefits. [6]

        These include:

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        • Being high in vitamin E
        • Helping your body to absorb nutrients
        • Reducing inflammation
        • Lowering blood pressure

        Avocado oil has a unique flavour and is ideal for creating tasty salad dressings.

        4. Sesame oil

          Sesame oil is a healthy alternative to regular vegetable oils, and it’s commonly used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.

          The benefits of sesame oil include: [7]

          • Promoting healthy skin and hair
          • Keeping the heart healthy
          • Improving circulation and metabolism
          • Helping bone growth

          5. Flaxseed oil

            Flaxseed oil is pretty special, as it’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Since these acids are usually found in fish, it’s a great option if you’re vegetarian or vegan. [8]

            Flaxseed oil can also:

            • Help weight loss
            • Reduce digestive problems
            • Increase collagen production
            • Reduce eczema

            Although healthy oils can be good for you in small amounts, it’s still important to watch your intake. Too much of any type of oil can be bad for the body, so be sure to stick to recommended daily amounts.

            You don’t need to give up oil to be healthy – just choose wisely.

            Featured photo credit: Huffpost via huffingtonpost.com

            Reference

            More by this author

            Eloise Best

            Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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