This is my second post on the healthy oil series – Read the previous post on Olive oil here. I have been reading about the benefits of Macadamia nut oil a lot recently. I had given up on the Macadamia nut after an article I read about a year and half ago that called the nut with not many nutrients and full of fats. It was rated as the least useful of the 6 or 7 nuts profiles in this category. I put it in my list of decadent nuts until I read about Macadamia nut oil and it benefits. It made sense to me as nothing from nature has absolutely no benefit.
What is it?
It is oil extracted from the nut meat of the Macadamia tree. This nut (and tree) natively grows in Australia as well as Brazil, Hawaii and other places. The Macadamia nut trees, Macadamia integrifolia, prefer volcanic soil in more of a tropical climate. The nut has a number of nutrients and the extracted oil has a number of anti-oxidants and is rich in monounsaturated fats. The oil itself is clear, with a light yellow color and a distinctive nutty odor. It is tasty, IMHO!
What are its benefits?
- Heart and Head friendly:Since the oil is rich in monounsaturated fats(including Omega 3, 6), it helps in the lowering of the LDL cholesterol (bad) and helps in the maintenance of HDL (good) cholesterol. This oil may reduce the risk of heart problems and stroke.
- As a beauty oil: Since the oil does not oxidise easily and has a rich, buttery feel on the skin it is used in creams and sunblocks. Full of anti-oxidants and the high fat content, it may help keep the skin supple and soft. Also, loaded with Vitamin E, It may be the youth tonic I was searching for :). Btw, it is supposed to be also good for the hair and nails, although I have not tried it yet.
- As a cooking oil: Since the oil can withstand high temperatures(smoke point at about 425 F) and has a great flavor, it is a good choice for cooking especially frying or sautéing. This oil also has a high shell life of almost 2 years.
I use it in my morning omelets almost every other day and am trying to integrate it in my diet. While it is more expensive than other alternatives, it has become a regular in my kitchen.
Next post on healthy oils will be on Red palm oil – Happy Saturday!
– Gary Saggu
(My tech blog)
I was eating breakfast this morning and decided to indulge in a little salt. As I was about to open the packet of salt, I decided to look at the ingredients. I was quite surprised to see the list – Salt, Sodium Silicoaluminate, Dextrose and Potassium Iodide.
Salt – as expected Sodium Chloride (NaCl). Essential to human life but harmful to us in excess.
Sodium Silicoaluminate – an anti-caking agent used to prevent lumping in table salt. I did some research on this and realized that there is speculation around it being linked to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This is also known as E554 and there is no way I can believe that it is good for the body. My take is that anything with this synthetic of Silicon and Aluminium should be avoided. IMHO, all E-ingredients should be avoided.
Dextrose – another mystery! According to the dictionary it is “The dextrorotatory form of glucose found naturally in animal and plant tissue and derived synthetically from starch.“. Personally, I do not want any form of sugar in my food especially in a sneaky way. It is claimed by the salt makers that Dextrose keeps the Potassium Iodide stable (preventing its oxidation) but I am sure there are other ways to get iodine – naturally. Also, definitely not good if you are on the slow carb diet (SCD)!
Potassium Iodide – (KI) This ingredient has a purpose – Iodine is a micro-nurient that enables proper functioning of the thyroid gland and used to prevent Goiter (swelling of the thyroid). Some people argue the need of this in table salt as we need only a little bit of Iodine and it is present in sea vegetables, cranberries and strawberries (all organic I hope!).
I have attached the photo for reference for all :-)!
My take on this is to start eating natural unrefined sea salts from pure sources – like Celtic sea salt. I will check in my local Whole foods and update this list.
– Gary Saggu
(My tech blog)
I have come across so many articles about how great Olive Oil is and its many benefits. So, I thought this necessitates a blog entry this Saturday evening as I was confused about some terms like virgin, extra-virgin and cold pressing.
What is it?
Olive Oil is a natural juice(fat) of the Olive fruit that preserves the nutrients, taste and other aspects of the this fruit of this traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean basin. Olive oil is a core component of the Mediterranean diet (more on that in the future) and allowed in SCD(slow carb diet). This extract is rich in beneficial monounsaturated fats and its anti-oxidant substances. If confused about anti-oxidants read my blog post about another important anti-oxidant here.
How is it produced? Different types of Olive Oil? (I was confused about the following part the most)
Olive Oil can be extracted from the Olive fruit by chemical or mechanical means. Mechanical means are the best and involve less processing. These terms do not guarantee the quality or standard of Olive Oil, however, a good health food store will generally carry the top 2 varieties. The following is a list in descending quality and nutritional benefit :-
- Extra virgin – extracted of the first processing of just ripe olives, it is the least processed and it is certainly the most nutrient rich. Involves no chemical treatment at all and has less than 1% acidity.
- Virgin – extracted from the second processing of olives whose ripeness may be more. Its acidity is around 1.5% or less.
- Pure – has some filtering and refining and it usually lacks strong flavor. This processed, blended variety has higher acidity than 1.5%
- Extra light, Refined Olive Oil and Olive oil – have varying degrees of processing involved and maybe considerably less beneficial than the top 2 in this list. Variable levels of acidity which may be high sometimes and not good for us.
Like I said before Olive oil in a heath food store should really be in the top 3 types(really 2) only. Since there are not many standards and governance around the above mentioned terms, take them with a grain of salt and experiment and really examine the contents to make sure the olive oil will be what the label says.
What is cold-pressing?
Olive oil is produced by extracting the juice from the Olive fruit by mashing them. Olive presses were used and traditionally operated by hand. This first pressing produced very little oil and was called “cold pressing”. All extra virgin Olive Oil should be cold pressed to preserve its nutritional benefits.
What are its benefits?
- IMHO, Olive oil is rich in beneficial anti-oxidants and may be an important cancer fighter.
- May be an important blood pressure(BP) regulator.
- May even help lower LDL (low density lipo-protein) cholestrol – the bad kind.
- May help with obesity as well.
- Supposed to help against osteoporosis.
- Also, maybe effective against stones in kidney and bladder.
As part of the slow carb diet that I am on, I am consuming enough olive oil everyday – definitely more than 2 tablespoons of extra virgin cold pressed. Coming up next Macadamia Oil. Happy Weekend!
– Gary Saggu