I love me some good olive oil and it's always a staple in my kitchen but switching things up every now and then isn't just fresh and exciting, it's better for your health. It's easy to fall in a rut with the same foods every day or every week and while regularity and consistency are great for the mind, there's always new things to try, new ways to cook that nourish our bodies as well as our beloved olive oil.
Lately I've been cooking every other dish in sesame oil. I love love love the aroma of the oil bubbling on the stovetop and the amazing flavor it adds to any meal. Like olive oil, sesame oil is a fat and we looove fats. Our body needs them to thrive and survive. But, as with any food, there's a kind of hierarchy of health. I don't believe in 'good' or 'bad' foods, but there are definitely better ways to get your fats. The first thing to look for with cooking oils (and butter!) is the kinds of fats it contains. We want to stay away from saturated fats as much as possible and stick with polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Sesame oil is high in poly & monounsaturated fats and low in saturated. In contrast, coconut oil is super high in saturated fats - higher than butter, y'all. Poly & monounsaturated fats help keep cholesterol at bay and saturated raises it. Simple, right?
In addition to having the right fats, sesame oil is a good source of antioxidants which reduce damage from free radicals in our bodies. It also contains vitamin K which can help keep strong bones. Sesame oil has been shown in studies to help lower blood pressure, blood sugar. On a more practical level, sesame oil has a super high smoke point which means you can use it to cook foods at higher heats without getting that burnt oil smell like you often do with olive oil.
Convinced? Here are some quick ways to incorporate it in to your daily intake:
- Sautee veggies & tofu
- Top salads
- Add a teaspoon to smoothies
- basically, swap your butter or olive oil for sesame once/day and you'll start to reap the benefits!
PS you can also use sesame oil on your skin and in your hair for an extra glow and shine!