By Assunta Ng
NORTH-WEST ASIA WEEKLY
Last Sunday, my friend invited us and his family to dinner at a restaurant by the water. A bread basket and a thick, triangular plate of butter were placed next to each other on our table. I thought, “WOW, Butter,” and my mouth was watering.
There’s something magical about fresh bread with butter. It was irresistible. I hadn’t eaten butter in a few months, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it, so much so that I put a thick piece of butter on the dough without spreading it.
This year, I intentionally eliminated butter from our kitchen because it is so unhealthy to eat it daily. It contains too many calories. And if you consume it regularly, it will line your artery wall and increase your risk of heart disease.
Butter, a natural fat from milk, is better than hydro-generated vegetable oils such as corn and granola oil, i.e. processed and processed to become solid at room temperature, as I wrote it in a blog from 2020.
There are many choices for replacing butter with healthy oils at home. What are mine?
We eat healthy fats to maintain a healthy brain because 60% of our brain is made up of fat. This is a banner year for us to buy six types of fats for cooking, devouring and cosmetics. Cosmetics, you ask? I will explain later.
Almond vs Peanut Butter
When we were little, my mother used peanut oil. She didn’t know any better. Neither do I.
Following my mother, I used peanut oil for cooking 40 years ago. However, in study after study, peanut oil is not as healthy as my current choices. A few months ago, I even threw my leftover peanut butter in the trash.
Although we are not allergic to peanut butter, many people do, especially children. I re-examine my habit of putting peanut butter in my mouth from time to time. Since the pandemic, I have reviewed each of my habits.
I picked up “peanut” controversies and studied them. Peanuts aren’t really nuts, they’re legumes. Their shells readily absorb pesticides, according to Dr. Eric Berg on YouTube. A fungal toxin can easily grow on peanuts, he said. The problem is, how do we know if the peanuts we eat from the jar are free of toxins?
Dr. Steve Gundry, author of Longevity Paradox, said peanuts are made up of lectins, which are a form of toxin. If you want to eat peanuts, use a pressure cooker to kill lectins, Gundry said.
What is a good peanut butter substitute? My friend suggested almond butter. It is rich in protein, fiber and other sources of nutrients. It aids the digestive process and contains antioxidants and healthy cholesterol. You don’t have to worry about weight gain with this fat as it is linked to greater satiety and thus reduces our urge to overeat.
However, for those who need to gain weight, you can rely on almond butter. It helped my friend’s husband regain weight after a stroke. Almond fat is simply amazing.
It’s not that I ignore the benefits of almond butter. About ten years ago, I tried it. But the taste was so weird, I could never finish my pot. Lately I decided to try again.
Surprise! Its taste has improved, and now my husband and I love it. So I started my habit of “scooper” again with almond butter, instead of peanut butter, to satisfy my palate.
sesame seed oil
A few months ago, I accidentally bought a bottle of sesame oil. It is cheaper than olive oil. Some studies have shown that it can burn fat. It is full of antioxidants and rich in omega fatty acids. That’s not the reason I bought it. When I haven’t eaten something in a while, I start craving it. Only this time I discovered how much I love the scent of sesame oil. It is refreshing ! Just put two drops in your palm and smell. Since it smells so nourishing, I decided to rub it on my hands and face. Sesame oil is better than my hand lotion and it’s so much cheaper. It absorbs quickly. I use it as a massage oil on my face, and it gently smoothes. What a discovery! I now massage my face once a week with this vegetable oil, instead of a commercial cream full of chemicals.
Recently, I dip my seafood in sesame oil. My boiled shrimp taste great, eliminating the need to add soy.
At home, I have two kinds of olive oil. One is light olive oil for cooking, as extra virgin is not suitable for high temperature cooking. However, the extra virgin is delicious for bread, eggs and bananas. Someone said that if you put extra virgin on sweet potatoes, they taste like french fries. However, it will be much healthier.
The benefits of extra virgin olive oil are numerous. It has anti-inflammatory properties, it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces the risk of diabetes. This could be a factor in longevity for many Europeans aged over 90 and over 100.
To consume more olive oil, I prepare my vegetables by first boiling them with bone broth, then pouring extra virgin over them after cooking.
We also cook with avocado oil. But the best way is to eat more avocados. We are lucky to love avocados and never get tired of them. We mix avocados with salads three times a week. This oil is excellent for hair and eyes, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in potassium. We use avocado oil to cook our eggs in the morning, as well as meat and vegetables.
When my mother had Alzheimer’s disease, friends recommended that I feed her two spoonfuls of coconut oil for breakfast. By the time I received the advice, it was a bit too late. If it is good for Alzheimer’s patients, it would also apply to dementia patients. The fat in coconut oil may reverse memory loss, according to the National Library of Medicine, in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
I don’t use coconut oil because I didn’t like that it raised my bad cholesterol after a year. Coconut oil can also improve shine in hair and skin. But I don’t like it on my skin as it tends to make it oily and my hair greasy. My husband eats coconut oil every morning with his breakfast. He can afford all the calories because he needs to gain weight.
So choose the kind of fats that can supplement your diet and boost your health. Which oils suit your taste buds? Which oils fit your budget? You are the boss. Research the different types of oil. It’s always fun to experiment with food, especially when you can discover your favorite food.
Assunta can be contacted at [email protected]