4 Oils That Can Enrich Your Diet in Surprising Ways

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Old 14-Jun-2012
4 Oils That Can Enrich Your Diet in Surprising Ways

Pistachio Oil

Aromatic and emerald green, it's assertive but subtly sweet.

Nutrition Perks
This rich oil contains a powerful dose of phytosterols, plant-based compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and inhibit tumor growth in animals. And because phytosterols are structurally similar to cholesterol, they compete with the artery-clogging compound in the intestine, reducing the amount of cholesterol that's absorbed into the body.

Avocado Oil

Derived from the ripe flesh of the subtle fruit, it has a mellow, buttery taste.

Nutrition Perks
Every oil has a smoke point—the temperature at which it begins to break down, losing nutritional value and releasing potential carcinogens. Avocado oil's smoke point is an incredibly high 510 degrees (compared with extra-virgin olive oil's 325- to 400-degree range), which makes it a safer option for high-heat cooking like frying and broiling. It's also rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

Walnut Oil

A nutty, roasted flavor, without the mild bitterness of whole walnuts.

Nutrition Perks
Many Americans don't eat enough omega-3 fat, which helps ensure normal brain function, reduces artery-damaging inflammation, and may reduce the risk of dementia, cancer, and heart disease. Walnuts are one of the richest nut sources of omega-3s. In a Penn State study, subjects showed a better physical response to stress, with lower blood pressure, when they ate walnut oil and whole walnuts.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Vibrant forest green in color, it has an intense, concentrated flavor.

Nutrition Perks
Another good source of omega-3s, pumpkin seed oil is also high in antiaging tocopherols, which fight free radicals (DNA-damaging molecules produced by pollution and the sun). And research suggests that the oil can help lower arthritis-induced inflammation and regulate blood pressure.

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