With so many oils on the market, it is hardly surprising that consumers can find it difficult to know which contain the best sources of polyunsaturated fats Omega 3 and 6, which are better for cooking with and which are more healthy.
Polyunsaturated fats Omega 3 and 6 are lacking in most western diets and this can leave us prone to ill health. Omega 3 in particular tends to be lacking so nutritionists recommend that we up our intake of this important nutrient. One way of doing this, particularly if you are not a fan of eating lots of oily fish, is to use an oil that contains Omega 3 in abundance.
The chart below shows the profiles of different commonly used oils. In general, the more saturated the fat is the better it is for cooking, and the more Omega Oils in it the more it will be damaged by cooking. Udo Erasmus, author of "Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill" recommends that we never fry our food in oil, rather add oil after the food is cooked. If you are going to fry meat then either cook the meat in it's own juices or use a little water. The more Omega 3 and 6 in the oil the healthier the oil is but the more delicate it is so never cook with oils high in Omega 3 or 6 - add them to the food once it has been cooked.
What about Flaxseed Oil?
We have not included Flaxseed oil in this chart. Flaxseed oil has an Omega 3 to 6 ratio of 4 to 1 so is a great source of the Omega 3 that we generally lack.
However, because of the high amount of Omega 3, the long term use of Flaxseed Oil may lead to Omega 6 deficiency - equally unhealthy. Udo Erasmus, who originally introduced cold pressed flaxseed oil, recommends that it is used to quickly increase the intake of Omega 3 when there is a large deficiency. After a few months he would then recommend switching to a more balanced blend of oils like Udo's Choice Ultimate Oil Blend which continues to provide more Omega 3 whilst providing an adequate amount of undamaged, unprocessed and organic Omega 6.