There appears to be quite a lot of queries over the type of oils good for cooking and daily consumption. One has to continually read and follow up on the latest research and not assume that the issues on oils and fats have been settled and fixed. Limiting or minimalizing carbs as is done in Paleo diets has been debunked for instance... those who were once passionate exponents have reversed their stand and have confessed that they experienced aging symptoms and skin problems for instance and once they started going back to upping their carbs, they were once again OK.
What is important to realize is that it is actually moderate consumption of carbs that is the key. But if you are diabetic, then minimalizing it for a therapeutic period of time is recommended as it helps to reverse diabetes as has been found by British researchers. What they recommend is reduced calories along with reduced carbs - like eating just two meals a day, or doing alternate day fasting. Many of those who participated in the clinical trials were able to reverse their diabetic condition after a period of time was over and if I remember correctly, it was a period of about 3 months.
It is important to understand that fats go with carbs and that the latter can't be properly metabolized without fats, so upping your fats, as in ketogenic diets, is not enough. So, increased fats and moderate carbs should be one's normal diet, other things being equal. If you are diabetic, consider getting your BG level to an acceptable level first, prior to implementing the increased fat + moderate carb lifestyle.
Are all fats the same? Definitely no, as Anup will happily tell you. To get an authoritative discussion on fats, explore first the papers, forums, resources etc at Weston Price Foundation:
(Pay attention to the papers by Mary Enig (e.g. The Oiling of America), Sally Fallon, etc.)
Also, read up this fascinating article by Thomas Smith, who cured himself of diabetes by stopping ALL dietary fats to get himself diabetes-free BEFORE reintroducing back HEALTHY OILs & FATS. A landmark article for those interested in finding out how fats and oils can ruin or build health, thanks to the oil merchants preying on the world for $$$'s sake.
Thomas Smith: Our Deadly Diabetes Deception
As for Olive Oil - please be very, very careful. As merchandising OO is an extremely lucrative biz, there are plenty of FAKE OOs on the market. In general avoid olive oils from Italy and Spain as many of them have been adulterated with cheap oils. Lots of stories on the internet so google them up. The brand called "LugliO" (I believe from Italy) is an exception - there are a few from USA that are fine but I've not seen them on the supermarket shelves yet. Useful info on OO and what, how and where to buy OO:
The myths about veg oils which are basically polyunsaturates are still rampant. Go for only these two: Rice bran oil (has high smoke point) and OO, and avoid canola oil, cotton seed oil, mustard oil like the plague. Extra Virgin OO should not be used in cooking or frying - add only to food after it is cooked as its lower smoke point is not cook-friendly. For cooking, use the pomace OO instead, and pomace OO is a lot cheaper too.
Rice bran oil has been deliberately kept at a low profile, thanks to the Japanese who want to monopolize its consumption but now the news is out here - go and explore and find out more ifno for yourselves. But here's one secret: it's been found to lower bad cholesterol levels besides affording other health properties and it's relatively cheaper than say OO. But like all polyunsaturates (soy, maize, cotton seed, sunflower, etc.), it is subject to rapid deterioration and rancidity when exposed to air during processing. To fool unsuspecting consumers into buying them, they are carefully refined and deodorized before being paraded and glorified on the supermarket shelves.
For those living in India, just use Idhayam sesame oil - research has unpacked and confirmed its great health-giving properties as traditionally held. It's been found to be capable of lowering triglycerides, blood pressure, plasma glucose and even cholesterol to name a few. Read the following:
", sesame oil consumption beneficially influences blood glucose, lipid peroxidation, antioxidants and lipid parameters in diabetic rat."
" In vitro, Sesame seed oil has inhibited the growth of malignant melanoma (a skin Cancer): PROSTAGLANDIN LEUKATRINES and ESSENTIAL Fatty Acids ... Also in vitro, Sesame seed oil has inhibited replication of human colon Cancer cells: ANTI Cancer RESEARCH ... Research shows that Sesame seed oil is a potent Antioxidant. In the tissues beneath the skin, this oil will neutralize oxygen radicals. It penetrates into the skin quickly and enters the blood stream through the capillaries. Molecules of Sesame seed oil maintain good Cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad Cholesterol (LDL).
Sesame seed oil is a cell growth regulator and slows down cell growth and replication."
"Fifty grams of sesame seed powder taken daily over five weeks by healthy adults has shown positive effects on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, LDL-to-HDL cholesterol ratios and antioxidant status."
"After tracking various health markers of 32 hypertensive patients aged 35 to 60 years who were supplied sesame oil (Idhayam gingelly oil) to use it as the only edible oil for 45 days, the researchers found that sesame oil helped significantly lower blood pressure, decrease lipid peroxidation and increase antioxidant status in the majority of patients."
Note too that it is saturated oils that are healthy, and they are slowly making a come back after many years of being neglected and worse, demonized as unhealthy by unscrupulous oil merchants. Most of these are actually saturated oil - coconut and palm oil, animal fats esp. butter and ghee + lard from pigs, farm animals like goose, ducks, etc - which our ancestors consumed and seldom had had no health issues with are now being recommended by astute, independent and ethically-minded researchers... The simple, basic proof of that saturated fat is healthful can be adduced from the composition of mother's milk - it is full of saturated fat, which in fact is very close to the composition of coconut oil. More and more research has shown that it is the omega-6 oil which predominates in the refined veg supermarket oils that is the great culprit for it fuels inflammation, the basic cause of many modern diseases - cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, etc.
I used to use good coconut oil for cooking but soon after I stopped. Reason? It creates lots of gas or wind in the body and in TCM and TAM, this is fundamentally bad as it is the cause - directly or indirectly - of many bodily ailments. Go and ask any TCM physician about coconut products, not just the oil, and they will give you an earful. Yes it is good on the hair and skin but ingesting it is another story. Yes, I learned my lesson and since then have learnt to replace it instead with others like rice bran oil, walnut oil, EVOO and Pomace OO, and even lard.
Kindest regards to all, Cjuan