"You are what you eat". Is that really true? There may be several necessary evils in your kitchen, which you want to get rid of. Cooking with oils is one such gray area. Healthy food proponents have long since slammed this practice of using vegetable oils in cooking for their trans fat and saturated fat content.
However, scientists now claim something different altogether. The truth is, not all fats are created equal. In fact, unsaturated fats can do wonders for your health if consumed in moderate limits. This goes to show why people have put olive oil on a pedestal.
Olive oil is rich in unsaturated fats; in others words, the good fats. The only downside to using olive oil in everyday cooking is that its taste changes with high heat and it eventually turns rancid after coming in contact with air and moisture. Moreover, its health promoting nutrients get adversely affected.
This is where macadamia nut oil comes in. So, if you have been in a situation where you ended up standing in your kitchen with a pan in hand; wondering whether the meal you are going to prepare will be good for your heart or not, then perhaps, you should give macadamia nut oil a shot. This oil is hailed for being one notch above olive oil.
This culinary gem is derived from macadamia nut trees which are native to Australia. However, these trees can also be found in countries like Brazil, New Zealand, Kenya, Indonesia, etc., as they are more suited for tropical climate. The largest producer of these nuts are the Hawaiian Islands.
A Nutty Business
Not all fats are bad for you, contrary to what was believed in the 80s and 90s. In fact, most nuts are quite underrated, considering the amount of protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats they contain. However, not all nut oils are good for frying, except macadamia oil.
With a nutty flavor and a touch of buttery aftertaste, this oil is good for people who suffer from 'fat-phobia'. It is available as a colorless or yellowish liquid. It goes well with foods like fish, chicken, and vegetables. But you may not want to pour it into a skillet for making French fries, as it is costly.
The Point about Smoke and Macadamia Nut oil
If you have ever burned your food while grilling or frying and sniffed acrid odor coming from your overcooked food, then you probably know something about smoke point of oils. It is the temperature at which the structure of oil breaks down, resulting in the degradation of both flavor and nutritional value.
Macadamia nut oil in its pure state holds the distinction of having an incredible smoke point of about 400º F, increasing its versatility for kitchen use. However, reusing the oil will decrease its smoke point. Also, note that refined oils have higher smoke points than virgin and extra virgin varieties.
The Truth about Fatty Acids and Macadamia Nut Oil
Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids are essential for your body, but, to reap maximum benefits from them, you need to have a balanced diet.
If your diet is a mix of fresh vegetables and lean meat, and you snack on a handful of almonds, you might think you are getting all the essential fatty acids that your body requires or more. But that may not be true. The answer lies in the ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
Most modern diets are rich in omega 6 fatty acids; however, some people do not get adequate dose of omega-3s, which are primarily found in seafood, whole grains, beans, etc. According to a few health experts, the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be 4:1, whereas some maintain that it should be 1:1.
Besides this, the oil has linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and palmitoleic acid. The oleic acid in this oil has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it effective in fighting against chronic diseases. Apart from the monounsaturated fatty acids, macadamia nut oil is also a great source of calcium, vitamin B complex, and minerals, like phosphorus and iron.
In fact, palmitoleic acid is naturally present in our skin when we are young. However, it decreases with age. Therefore, using this oil on dry and mature skin will improve its suppleness and add moisture to the skin.
People who use this oil for their hair and skin consider it as simply divine as it has a high absorption rate. It also contains a decent amount of palmitic acid that is believed to add a glow to the damaged skin with regular usage. It is used in making cosmetics, balms and lip glosses along with baby care products, as it has low oral toxicity levels.
This oil is loaded with antioxidants which aid in destroying free radicals, responsible for leaving tell-tale signs of aging on the skin. It is packed with vitamin E, and its light and non-greasy quality makes it a preferred choice of people for nourishing their hair. It is also used in massage therapy because of its emollient properties and distinct aroma.
Other than the nutritional benefits, this oil finds favor with chefs all over the world due to its versatility and practicality of use. It has a long shelf life and can be stored up to 1 to 2 years without refrigeration. Hence, this oil is a welcome addition to the kitchen, specially when you run out of olive oil.
Though this oil can be called a superfood, it should be consumed reasonably as excess intake may lead to increase in body fat.