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Olive oil is one of the most commonly used oils found in many homes. It is well known for its health benefits when used in the kitchen. Many individuals also use olive oil for personal care, cleaning and in natural home remedies.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil is a healthy, monounsaturated fat that has been linked to many beneficial health effects. The essential fatty acids found in olive oil can help to lower the unhealthy LDL cholesterol and raise the healthy HDL cholesterol, as well as lower blood pressure. These 3 effects can help decrease the risk of developing heart disease.

Canola Oil

Canola oil works well in cooked recipes because its high smoke point allows it to handle high heat temperatures. High in lineoleic acid and alpha lineoliec acid, canola oil is an excellent source of essential fatty acids that can help improve health and prevent cardiovascular problems.

Coconut Oil

The benefits of coconut oil are not as widely known as some of the other oils that are commonly used today. Coconut oil is an excellent oil for high heat cooking because it can withstand effects of extreme heat. It is great for frying, sautéing and grilling.

Health benefits that are associated with coconut oil include a possible reduction in dangerous triglyceride levels, promoting permanent weight loss, boosting the metabolism and improving the overall condition of the digestive tract. It is also a good alternative to olive oil when applied topically to condition the skin.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is also very high in healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids. It does not work as an olive oil substitute in dishes that require high heat cooking, however, it works well in cooked dishes that require only low heat. With a smoke point of only 330 degrees, it is best used raw as a drizzle over cooked vegetables or pasta, as a base for salad dressings or pesto sauce, and as a dipping oil for bread.

Hemp oil can be a welcome alternative to olive oil because of its nutty flavor. The deep green color adds a pleasing touch to the food’s appearance.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil, is high in Omega-3’s. In fact, it is considered one of the best vegetarian sources of Omega-3. Much like olive oil, cold-pressed varieties are the highest quality. Flaxseed oil has a mild flavor and is often described as fresh-tasting. It is important to always select a high quality flaxseed oil, as lower quality varieties often taste bitter. It has a low smoke point so it should not be used in high heat cooking.

It works best when used as a salad dressing or cold sauce base, when drizzled over a baked potato or other cooked vegetables, or when added at the last minute to hot soup to bring out the natural flavors. Unlike olive oil, flaxseed oil does not have a stable shelf life and often turns rancid in as little as 4 to 6 weeks. For this reason, many people choose to store flaxseed oil in the refrigerator.

Toasted Hazelnut Oil

Toasted hazelnut oil actually contains even less saturated fat than olive oil. It does not work well in high heat dishes, and is best used raw. Toasted hazelnut oil has a pleasant, nutty flavor that can be used to add variety to salad dressings and cold sauces.

It can be drizzled over steamed vegetables or hot pasta dishes and works well when brushed over hot chicken or fish.

Macadamia Nut Oil

Like many of the other oils mentioned here, macadamia nut oil contains a high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids. It has a bold, nutty taste and a light nutty scent. It is not as bitter as olive oil which makes it a good alternative for sweeter dishes.
It has a moderate smoke point of 390 degrees, so it should not be used in high heat cooking, but it can work well in dishes that require only low to medium heat.