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Healthy oils provide vitamin E and essential fats.
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Dietary fat plays a vital role in your health, and you need to consume it even when dieting. Fat is necessary for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fats are also crucial to brain function. The liver produces some of the fat that you need, but your body relies on you to get essential fatty acids from your diet. Weight Watchers provides guidelines and recommendations so that you can make healthy oil choices while following the program.
Guidelines for Oils
Oils are a concentrated source of calories, so servings sizes are more modest than other food groups. Oils contain about 120 calories per teaspoon. Weight Watchers recommends 2 teaspoons of healthy oils each day. You get three primary types of fat from your diet: saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Some saturated fats are unhealthy because they increase LDL -- a bad form of cholesterol. Weight Watchers recommends using a variety of unsaturated oils.
Olive and Nut Oils
Weight Watchers recommends investing in a high-quality olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is a very versatile option. On its own it has a light, neutral taste. You can infuse olive oil with your favorite herbs to enhance the flavor. It's a good oil for using on a salad in place of traditional salad dressing, or drizzling over pasta to add a light delicate flavor. Nut oils are another recommended option, according to Weight Watchers. Examples include walnut, hazelnut and macadamia oil.
Flaxseed and Sesame Oils
Flaxseed oil is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids. If you're like most Americans, you don't get enough omega-3 fats. Consider finishing roasted vegetables with a drizzle of flaxseed oil. It has a light, nutty flavor that goes well with vegetables of all types. Roasted sesame oil is made from toasted sesame seeds and provides another good option. It's a dark oil with a pungent toasted aroma and tastes like toasted sesame seeds. Weight Watchers recommends drizzling it over grilled meats and stir-fry.
Cooking and Baking
Some oils are better for finishing your dishes with, while others are more appropriate for cooking and baking. When oil reaches its smoke point, it breaks down and loses most of its beneficial qualities, so low-smoke-point oils are not good for cooking. Canola is a good cooking oil because it has a high smoke point, a neutral flavor, is easy to find and is inexpensive, according to Weight Watchers. Canola also makes a good baking oil.