Jul 17, 2015
Most salad dressings on the market today contain canola or soybean oil two GMO laden, and pro-inflammatory! Even dressings containing "olive oil"often also contain either canola or soybean oil.
Organic canola and soybean oils aren't better. They don't contain GMO ingredients, but these oils are highly processed and contribute to fat imbalance found in most American diets. (Most of us eat too many pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3 fats.) Plus, bottled salad dressings are often guilty of containing sources of sugar.
Most salad dressing recipes contain some kind of oil, which is best to use?
Cold pressed organic, virgin coconut or palm oil, both of which are stable fats, are good, but they may be difficult to work with as a base for salad dressing. A stable fat means that it's more saturated and less likely to suffer oxidative damage. (saturated fat is good for you!) It's what our cell membranes are made out of, it's what many hormonal processes rely upon as a key raw material, and it's what fueled the building of our ancestors' big brains over the course of millions of years of human evolution.
Most saturated fats at room temperature are solid and are not damaged by heat, air, and light as unsaturated fats like monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids. The only problem of being solid at room temperate is it makes coconut very difficult to use in salad dressings. And being that it tastes like coconut doesn't work in most savory recipes.
Nut and Seed Oils
Cold pressed nut and seed oils, like peanut, sesame, avocado, macadamia, or flaxseed, work well in dressings and often have a nutty flavor. (But Don't cook with these oils! these fats oxidize when heated.)
Organic, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil is an option, but olive oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory. And then how about the quality to consider with olive oil.
Much of it is now being made with centrifuges and isn't "pressed" at all. True extra-virgin comes exclusively from the first pressing of the olive paste the first pressing only. To make sure, look for the term cold pressed on the label. The European Union regulation stipulates that the term can only be used when the olive paste is kept at or below 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) and when the oil is actually extracted with a press, not a centrifuge.
For freshness, only buy oils from the current year's harvest. (if you subtract two years from the sell-by date, you can usually determine when it was harvested.) The fresher the better. The International Olive Council recently approved a method of measuring the oil's polyphenol content an indicator of its health-giving characteristics, taste, and shelf life. With a rating ranging between 300 (low) to 800 (very high), an oil with a rating of 500 or above is optimal. Ratings aren't always listed, but the better products may boast about this number on their label.
Two other great oils are fish oil (high in omega-3s) and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which is derived from coconut oil and revs up the metabolism. You'll probably have to go to a health food store or shop online to find these specialty options. While we don't use these oils for cooking, we do often use them on our salads.
We didn't recommend corn, soybean, canola (rapeseed), safflower, cottonseed, or vegetable oils at all? That's because these oils are heavily processed, often with high heat and chemical solvents. (oil should be stored in dark bottles to protect it from light), they are often chemically bleached, deodorized, and dyed yellow.
They are usually derived from GMO crops and predominantly contain the pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids that we are trying hard to minimize in favor of more anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Due to the adverse processing methods, you are essentially ingesting oxidized molecules that wreak immediate havoc on healthy cellular function. These oils are not healthy and should be avoided. A good book to get is The Micronutrient Miracle, When it comes to oils and fats, we recommend using cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil; avocado oil; macadamia nut oil; flaxseed oil; MCT oil; and chia oil sparingly. Cold pressed palm and coconut oils are the best.
SOURCE: Jayson Calton, PhD, Mira Calton, CN