Fried chicken. Stir-fry. Salad Dressing. What do all of these foods have in common? Oil, and lots of it.
It's no secret that in cooking, fat adds flavor. But it also adds calories and, later on, can add pounds. Traditional cooking oils and butter are high in saturated and trans fats as well as calories, adding them to the meals you make.
Is there a better way? On the June 11 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Mehmet Oz introduced a new cooking oil to help you make healthier versions of your favorite dishes -- rice bran oil.
Nutritional Breakdown of Rice Brand Oil
The main component in this oil that has gotten researchers so excited is gamma oryzanol, which affects the body's absorption of cholesterol from foods. The other main component that makes this oil so great is its high amount of omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids actually help you feel full and signal your body to start burning stored fat. Essential fatty acids also support a healthy brain and heart. Rice bran oil contains both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are also more heart healthy. You can also find a high amount of vitamin E in rice bran oil which has antioxidant properties and supports the tissues of the body like skin and hair while boosting the immune system.
Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil
A healthy oil like rice bran can help bring down high "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels. A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that LDL was lowered by an average of seven percent after healthy participants consumed a diet using rice bran oil for one third of their total dietary fat daily. The unsaponifiable compounds in the oil, like the gamma oryzanol, were credited with this result. "Good" (HDL) cholesterol levels were not affected. Lowering your cholesterol reduces your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
The main benefit Dr. Oz focused on regarding rice bran oil was weight loss. The nutritional components in rice bran oil help to prevent sugar from collecting in the body as stored fat. As a result, your body burns it off as energy, which can help you lose weight. You're also making a smarter choice for your waistline by using this oil instead of other high in those saturated and trans fats.
How to Use It
The best part about trying a healthy substitute like rice bran oil is that it can be used in exactly that way. You don't have to change the measurements in any recipe calling for butter or oil -- just use rice bran oil instead. Pretty simple, right? You'll still get the same richness oil normally adds and no, it doesn't take like rice. Instead, the aroma and flavor are nutty, but light.
Dr. Oz recommended looking for a cold-pressed oil. This production process ensures the least amount of impurities in the final product.
Whether you drizzle, dip or even deep-fry, you'll be making a smarter choice for your health with rice bran oil. Bon appetit!
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