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Oil is a generic term for a number of fatty liquids of various origins, which do not dissolve in water and are less dense than water. Initially, the word oil was used to refer only to olive oil , but it has been generalised to include vegetable, animal and mineral oils.
Within edible oils, those that come from both the animal and vegetable kingdom, we can distinguish two main types:
- Virgin: they are extracted by cold pressing, preserving the flavour of the fruit or seed from which they are extracted
- Refined: they undergo a process to obtain an oil with a neutral taste, safe for food and with a long shelf life
All oils are fatty matter, so they are composed of 99.9% of lipids .They provide 899 Kcal per 100 grams, although the type of fats and micronutrients may vary depending on the type of oil. Most oils are cholesterol-free, as they are of vegetable origin.
Virgin and extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, hazelnut oil and canola oil are among the most recommended oils due to the better fat profile in their composition. This means that those with more monounsaturated fatty acids are the most suitable, as these are recommended for an intake of between 20% and 25% of daily calories.
vegetable oils contain different types of vitamins and antioxidants. They are perfectly compatible with a healthy diet, as they provide great nutritional benefits. However, when consuming them, they must be well chosen and used with certain precautions in mind.
The nutritional advantages of vegetable oils derive especially from the fatty acids that are present in different proportions. It is precisely these elements that give each vegetable oil its own distinct characteristics.
In this case, we are going to get to know two of the most recommended vegetable oils: olive oil and coconut oil.
Olive oil is known by many as liquid gold because of the many benefits it can bring to the body. Its fatty acids, especially oleic acid, help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol levels. An ingredient that also improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure.
By reducing cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, olive oil has long been considered an ideal ingredient for increasing longevity.
At the same time, olive oil promotes digestive function and reduces gastric acid secretion, to the point of protecting against gastrointestinal diseases. In addition, its laxative effect helps to combat constipation by improving intestinal absorption of nutrients.
There are other benefits of olive oil, such as helping to contribute to proper bone mineralisation and bone development. It also plays a protective role against cellular oxidative stress thanks to its high content of phenolic antioxidants (vitamin E).
Among vegetable oils, special attention should be paid to coconut oil . A fatty substance containing about 90% of saturated acids extracted by pressing the flesh or meat of coconuts. This is precisely its main difference to olive oil, as the latter is dominated by monounsaturated fatty acids.
Coconut oil can be used for both beauty and nutritional purposes. Its benefits are especially related to weight and fat loss , as it is a type of oil that boosts the metabolism. But as long as we accompany it with a healthy diet, healthy and suitable for each individual.
Coconut oil can also be used perfectly well for frying food at high temperatures. It generates far fewer toxins than sunflower oil, corn oil and soybean oil. In addition, it is able to retain more nutrients in this process than olive oil itself.
In short, vegetable oils are rich in various substances that are beneficial to the body. However, they require special care both in their use and in their preservation so that these properties do not become harmful to health.