Once upon a time fat was the enemy in our diets. However, as a health and wellness professional, you already know the importance of including fat in our diets. Fats enable us to absorb fat-soluble nutrients and provide us the essential fatty acids our bodies cannot make on their own. You also already know that not all fats are equal. Some fats are healthier than others.
Olive oil is a common substitute for butter and animal-fat, but what others oils can your clients use?
To help you help your clients, here is a list of five healthy oil swaps to recommend to them:
Avocado oil is a wonderful alternative because it is mild in flavor, lighter than olive oil, and can be used at higher temperatures. It can even be substituted for butter in most baking recipes. Your clients can easily use avocado oil in salad dressings, drizzled over freshly grilled or roasted vegetables, and use it in small amounts to sauté veggies too.
Avocado oil is low in saturated fat and contains Omega-6 and lutein, a carotenoid pigment found in the eyes. This pigment is not produced in the body, which make consumption very important. Carotenoid is known to reduce aging eye conditions and maintain eye health.
Walnut oil is rich in omega 3 and an easy source of this essential fatty acid. It also contains a variety of phytonutrients, B Vitamins, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
Having a rich and nutty flavor, walnut oil can be drizzled on salads and used in place of mayonnaise in turkey, chicken, or tuna salads. It can also add a rich, meatier flavor to a bowl of hummus.
Another nutty-tasting oil is sesame oil. Sesame oil has been used in some cultures for thousands of years for cleansing, detoxifying, and it’s even been commonly used as a skin moisturizer. Sesame oil can contribute zinc, copper, and calcium to your client's diet.
Sesame oil can be used at a medium-high heat to cook as well as in marinades, dipping sauces, or to raise the savory taste of any dish.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Also called pepita oil, pumpkin seed oil is not just a supplement in a capsule. Historically, this oil has been used in herbal medicine as a cure-all for many health ailments, from hair loss to irritable bowels. It has been shown to help lower blood sugar, making it a great oil swap for any client who needs to watch or monitor his or her blood sugar levels.
Pumpkin seed oil is light like Avocado oil and can be enjoyed in similar ways: drizzle it on salads, add it to smoothies, and top off grilled or roasted veggies with it. Pumpkin seed oil is high in omega-3 as well.
Although it is high in saturated fat, coconut oil is an excellent healthy swap for a variety of reasons because it contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Following a maxim of “everything in moderation,” recommend this oil to your clients in place of fats like butter or lard.
Because it is solid at room temperature, it is not as friendly for use in salad dressings or as a drizzle on top of soup or freshly made meals. But, like animal fats, coconut oil can be used at higher temperatures. A popular way to consume coconut oil is to use it in place of dairy in hot morning coffee. When blended together, the coconut oil is just as creamy as dairy, adds in healthier fats, and removes carbs.
Most of these oils can be eaten and enjoyed in similar ways. Encourage your clients to experiment with oils or to blend them together. They might have fun tasting and learning which oils they prefer to use with which foods and in which ways. Perhaps they love a canola, avocado, walnut blend on salads, but prefer sesame or pumpkin on hummus and cooked vegetables.
If they need to add fats to their diet, sneaking avocado into smoothies or coffee is an easy swap for dairy-based fats. And if they really want to fry some dishes or doing light sautéing, they can turn to high-temperature avocado oil as an alternative to butter.
Also, consider recommending oil blends based on individual client needs. While some clients may have to be more considerate of saturated fat consumption, others might be looking to balance their fatty acid profiles.
Try suggesting these five healthy oil swaps to your clients based on their individual needs.