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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

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            Eloise Best

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            Last Updated on October 16, 2018

            The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

            The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

            It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

            If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

            One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

            Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

            In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

            Why you can’t sleep through the night

            The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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            Stress

            If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

            Exposure to blue light before sleep time

            We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

            While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

            Eating close to bedtime

            Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

            Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

            Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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            Medical conditions

            In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

            The vicious sleep cycle

            The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

            Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

            You get a bad night’s sleep
            –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
            –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
            –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

              You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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              How to sleep better (throughout the night)

              To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

              1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

              What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

              Here are a few suggestions:

              • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
              • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
              • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
              • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
              • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

              2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

              What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

              • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
              • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
              • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
              • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

              3. Adjust your sleep temperature

              Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

              Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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              Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

              Sleep better form now on

              Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

              I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

              As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

              Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

              Reference

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