An Underrated Way To Add More Healthy Fats To Your Diet

While most cooks use extra virgin olive oil, variations of cooking oils abound, guarding pantry shelves like sentinels of culinary enlightenment. Canola, corn, vegetable, and safflower oils are some of the most familiar ones, but there's more. From coconut to avocado, peanut, sesame, grapeseed, and hemp seed, we can pretty much oil our way through any meal. If the oil turns out to be an ingredient that adds more healthy fats to our dishes, sign us up.

Fats have gotten a bad rap as calorie-laden kitchen culprits, but plenty of good fats have knocked their way into the gastronomy universe. Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health defines good fats as those that are unsaturated, including the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and seeds. The percentage of fats in a person's daily caloric intake rarely links to overall health outcomes such as heart disease, according to a study; rather, it's the type of fats that makes the difference. We have one healthy addition you can easily use in your kitchen.

A nutty oil alternative

Plant-based oils with polyunsaturated fats are liquid gold for your health. Cleveland Clinic explains how these kinds of oils supply the coveted good fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. When absorbed with other valuable nutrients, these healthy fats can support healthy lifestyles. You've likely used olive, sunflower, and corn oils in everyday cooking, but what about walnut oil?

WebMD labels walnuts as the healthiest nuts in the world, which is a pretty high bar considering there are many popular types of nuts. But walnuts harbor more antioxidants and nutrients than any other variety. Healthline indicates that walnut oil has the same health benefits as whole unpressed nuts. Heart health, skin health, inflammation reduction, cancer prevention, weight maintenance, lower cholesterol, increased metabolism, and balanced blood sugar levels are some of the many benefits flowing from the bottle of walnut oil you should add to your pantry. This nutty oil contains no carbohydrates or sugar and is high in vitamins K and E, zinc, phosphorous, choline, and selenium.

Healthline recommends using cold-pressed and unrefined walnut oils in salad dressings or other recipes requiring low heat since higher temperatures could potentially reduce the nutritional value and taste of the oil.