In recent years, there have been a variety of new types of oil added to the market--including macadamia nut oil, among others. So what is macadamia nut oil? Is it really good for our health? This article gives a brief background on macadamia nut oil, and compares it against some traditional cooking oils. It may change the way you cook!
Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia nut oil comes, as the name may suggest, from the macadamia nut. This oil is composed primarily of omega-3 fatty acids, which research has found to be effective in the treatment and prevention of a variety of different kinds of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even Alzheimer's disease. Though macadamia nut oil is native to Australia and was once only found in organic or specialty grocery stores, it can now be found at nearly all local markets. If is becoming a popular addition to salad dressings, and can also be used for frying due to its high heat tolerance.
Like macadamia nut oil, olive oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and other unsaturated fats, making it one of the healthiest oils on the market today. Olive oil has for years been combined with balsamic vinegar to make a simple vinaigrette, or served as a dipping sauce for bread. But, unlike vegetable or corn oil, olive oil has not entered the realm of frying or baking due to fears that heating olive oil could damage its chemistry and decrease the health benefits associated with it. But recently, research has found that olive oil does not degrade in integrity when exposed to high heats and as long as the oil is kept below a temperature threshold that causes the oil to smoke. It will have the same benefits as when consumed at room temperature. Feel free to use olive oil in place of vegetable oil in baked goods for healthier cakes, cookies, and pies!
Vegetable oil is becoming a no-no among health conscious citizens due to its high amount of saturated fat. Saturated fat can also be found in beef and dairy and is a major contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high cholesterol levels and other dangerous conditions. Vegetable oil is most commonly used in the preparation of baked goods, which is one of the reasons why baked goods are often described as a food to be avoided by individuals who are concerned about their health. As described above, olive oil makes a great alternative to vegetable oil when preparing baked goods. Another good alternative to vegetable is apple sauce. The right kind of apple sauce can be very healthy for you as it contains high amounts of dietary fiber, little fat, and almost no dietary sodium. For best results, look for varieties that contain little added sugar and are low in calories. Or even better, make the apple sauce yourself!