Salads are the first dish that comes to mind when someone talks of a healthy meal. Well, what better than some fresh leafy and crunchy greens and other veggies?
Salads can be great dietary additions to maintain a good and healthy body and enrich it with nutritional goodness. But did you know that there are ways to make salads even healthier?
Yes, you heard that, right! And we are here to guide for the same. Today we will tell you about salad oils – Which are the healthiest? What are their good effects, and so on.
So let us begin!
What are salad oils?
Salad oils are an important constituent in the making of the salad dressing. Salad oils are used to ensure that the herbs, spices, and flavors used in the salad are spread over all the veggies completely.
Salad oils are generally a category of edible oils that are used for salad dressings. It makes up the fat part of the sauce necessary or proper marinating and spreading of flavors.
There are a lot of varieties out there. Some commonly used edible salad oils are – peanut oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil, light olive oil, safflower oil, corn oil, etc.
A common alternative for oil in salads is a very famous and creamy mayonnaise. It is creamy, heavy, as well as adds some different deliciousness to the overall salad.
Salad oils are mainly used because of their lubricating function and smooth texture. It assists in improving the palatability of veggies in the salad. It also makes it easier to spread the salad around and adds a special delicate taste as well.
How to choose your best Salad oil?
Some of the basic qualities of a good salad oil are:
- It stays oily and does not freeze or crystalize upon refrigeration.
- It must not have a waxy or thick consistency. A light and flowing texture is what keeps the overall salad healthy and fresh,
- It stays fresh and does not easily turn rancid upon being exposed to air or extreme temperatures.
- It is delicate and subtle to taste and does not overpower the salad.
But what makes a salad oil truly the best?
Its nutritional elements! The nutritional composition is what will help to add more than just flavor to your salad.
The major benefits of a salad must include:
- Higher content of antioxidants and good oxidative stability.
- Oils rich in monounsaturated fats and phytochemicals are also the ones to go for.
These values make some oils healthier and better as compared to others.
You can look for your desired tastes and choices when it comes to oils. But keep in mind to pick safe and healthy fats too. They are what will contribute to your health and increase the value of your already healthy salad.
But the confusion arises because of the plethora of oil varieties available to be used in salads. Let us find out the top 5 suggestions that are healthy as well as suggested by experts.
Which are the healthiest salad oils?
Keeping in mind the above-mentioned taste, texture-related, and nutritional details, here are some selected best oils for your salads:
Extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil often comes on the top of many preferred healthy oil varieties. It has been approved to be beneficial to one’s body by many researchers. Numerous experiments are continuing on the olive oil variety to find out many such benefits available in it.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats. This is great for assisting in keeping the cholesterol levels healthy and safe.
Extra virgin olive oil is even better. This is a cold-pressed variety with lesser chemicals and refining. Not just that, it is even higher in nutrients and more phytochemicals when compared to ordinary olive oils.
Here are some of the many benefits of using extra virgin olive oil:
- Keeps the heart fit and free of diseases
- Is safe for diabetic consumption
- Helps to aid weight loss
- Promotes good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol levels
- Reduces symptoms of diabetes, heart, and cholesterol disorders
- Keeps away the effects of insulin resistance
- Enriches the body with anti-inflammatory elements
- Loaded with Vitamin E, K, and other antioxidants
- Keeps blood pressures under control
- Great for the skin as well as hair
Thus, extra virgin olive oil adds taste as well as health to your salad. It can be used without second thoughts, but always ensure to take it in moderation.
Nuts have essential advantages to one’s overall health. They are great sources to gain proteins and fats. Oils obtained from nuts also have similar health benefits.
Walnut oil is also very efficient as a taste enhancer in salads in other foods. At the same time, it is full of numerous good nutrients.
Walnut oil is great for the heart, has enough amounts of Omega-3 fats, has antioxidants that help the body combat the ill-effects of free-radicals, etc.
Walnuts have been known since time immemorial to improve functions in the brain. It is also extensively used in Ayurveda and other traditional medicinal systems.
Some of the major benefits of walnut include:
- Enriched with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
- Protects from free-radicals and inflammation in the body
- Safe and effective to control diabetes
- Lowers blood pressure and heart risks
- Effective in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in the body
- Anti-cancer qualities and benefits
- Prevents nerve and brain dysfunction
- Easy on the stomach
- Great for the skin
- Also fights against microbial diseases and helps to heal fungal wounds.
Alongside all the great effects it has on one’s body and health, it also is light and easy when consumed.
Sesame is considered to be a very nutritious seed. The oil derived from sesame seeds also has properties that are good for one’s body and immunity.
It is also easily available and a good option if you search for healthy salad dressing oils. In addition to that, it does not compromise on the taste factor either. Thus, it is the best of everything and can fit perfectly in your healthy books.
Here are the various advantages of including sesame oil in your diet:
- Rich in omega-6, antioxidants, and phytochemicals
- It also provides the body with fiber, which is essential for many functions.
- It is good for the liver and also reduces the harmful consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.
- It is safe and recommended for patients with high blood sugar levels too.
- Adds to the elasticity in the muscles, joints, as well as bones
- Helps in keeping away pain and arthritis
- It also strengthens teeth, gums, and prevents oral decay.
- It is also great in lowering sodium in the body.
- Maintains normal blood pressure
- Slows down and prevents the growth of cancer-causing cells
- Great for the skin as well as scalp.
There are endless uses and benefits when it comes to sesame seeds and their oil.
Another option for your salads can be the Avocado oil. They are great too, and enriched with various nutrients. It is also very commonly used oil when it comes to dips, sauces, or salad dressings because of its taste and texture factors.
Here are the major benefits of using avocado oil:
- Avocado pressed oil is rich in oleic acid, which is a prominent good quality of salad oil. This is an omega-9 fatty acid that gives all the goodness to avocado oil that it is known for.
- It increases HDL and decreases LDL, therefore keeping the cholesterol levels in check.
- As it is a good cholesterol-promoting agent thus, it keeps the heart-healthy.
- The carotenoid, an antioxidant found in avocado oil, is great for improving eye health and vision.
- Adding this oil to salads makes the absorption of minerals from the veggies easier.
- Reduce pain and stiff joints. This is recommended for people suffering from types of arthritis.
- Also improves the quality of the skin and enables faster wound healing.
All these and more make it a great overall supplement when looking for healthy oils.
Flaxseed is a truly magical seed. It is medicinal for so many health conditions. The seeds itself, its powder, oil, etc., are true gems to add to the diet.
Here are the several benefits that it provides:
- Flaxseed is great for promoting healthy body weight.
- They are rich in fiber and are thus very essential for the body.
- It is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that help keep the heart healthy and reduce inflammation.
- Researches have shown that flaxseed oils are efficient in reducing the growth of cancer.
- The fiber in it helps to keep away constipation and diarrhea.
- It has many skin benefits such as – moisturizing, reducing roughness, treating sensitivity, etc.
Flaxseed is a great everyday addition to your diet. You can make a healthier change by adapting to flaxseed oils as well.
Grapeseed, canola, sunflower, peanut, coconut, etc., are some other oil choices.
6 unhealthy Salad oils to avoid
When adding in salads, make sure to eliminate these common oils:
- Safflower oil
- Vegetable oil
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Palm oil