Adding heart-healthy oils to your meals gives flavor to food and keeps you full. Healthy oils also help your body to absorb the fat soluble vitamins in the foods you eat. The next time you toss together a fresh green salad or serve warm roasted vegetables, drizzle on some of these oils.
Studies show that when avocado oil is added to a salad or to salsa, it increases the absorption of carotenoids. Many carotenoids are converted to vitamin A in the body, which plays a role in growth and development, immune health, and vision. Look for unrefined, cold-pressed avocado oil to use for salads. It retains the flavors of the avocado and many of the nutrients found in the whole fruit.
Dark Sesame Oil
Sesame oil contains sesamolin and sesamin, two antioxidants that may be responsible for the oil’s health benefits. Research shows that cooking with sesame oil may help reduce blood pressure. Look for dark sesame oil, which gives foods a deep, nutty flavor. Drizzle the oil over stir-fried vegetables just before they are done cooking.
Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia nut oil has one of the highest amounts of monounsaturated fats among nut oils. According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated fats can help to reduce bad cholesterol, reducing the risk for heart disease and stroke. Macadamia nut oil has a delicious, almost creamy, taste that makes a good dressing for pasta salads and fresh green salads.
Walnut oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function and growth and development. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to reduce inflammation and risk for chronic disease. The oil’s nutty flavor goes well with fish. Try drizzling walnut oil over roasted salmon or tilapia just before serving.