Canola, Olive Oil Benefits: 6 Dietitian Healthy Tips When Cooking, Grilling

Grilling is one of the summer's favorite rituals and using canola oil enhances the grilling experience and flavor of your favorite dishes, all while providing healthy fat. "When it comes to broiling, canola oil is a better friend, so it offers a double benefit: both for grilling and for health," says CanolaInfo spokesperson Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD . "There is even evidence that it helps reduce abdominal fat."

A recent study also reveals that olive oil can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. According to researchers at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM), in Philadelphia, shows that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating primarily fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil, and the use of herbs and spices instead of salt. 

Olives Olive oil helps prevent Alzheimer's. Photo: CanolaInfo

“We found that olive oil reduces brain inflammation but most importantly activates a process known as autophagy,” explained senior investigator Domenico Praticò, MD, Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Microbiology and the Center for Translational Medicine at LKSOM.

Find below Dietitian, Manuel Villacorta favorite tips on how to prepare healthy and delicious meals using canola oil:

  1. High smoke point: Canola oil tolerates high temperature well, which means less smoke when roasting. Rub the grills on the grill before heating it to make sure the food does not stick.
  2. Neutral Flavor: Canola oil allows the taste of your favorite recipes to stand out for your family and friends.
  3. Versatility: Canola oil goes very well on a variety of dishes, including marinades and salad dressings. Its low saturated fat content means that it does not solidify in the refrigerator and can be used at any time.
  4. Reduce Abdominal Fat: Canola oil contains mostly monounsaturated fats and a recent study suggests that the use of oils containing mainly monounsaturated fats brings a benefit to the waist. Research results published in November 2016 in the journal Obesity (Journal on Obesity), reported a reduction in abdominal fat of participants who followed a diet with canola oil, instead of diets containing oils containing other types of fat. Participants in this study are at risk of metabolic syndrome affecting 40% of Americans.

Follow the tips below on how to use olive oil:

  1. Keep olive oil out of the light and away from the heat: According to chef David Lebovitz the condensation can dilute the oil and cause it to spoil quicker.
  2. Use olive oil while it’s still in its prime: Good extra-virgin olive oil will last about a year if stored properly. Lebovitz suggest to spend more to get more when it comes to oilive oil.

Salad season is still in full swing, and many of us enjoy adding toppings. With all the different types of salad toppings and dressings on grocery store shelves, it can be difficult to choose ones that are the freshest, tastiest, and most importantly, the best fit for you. 

Greek olive oil brand, Gaea, offers a selection of unique olive oils like the Gaea Oxymelo. This is a traditional ancient Greek recipe from the Minoan period in Crete, harmonically combined with modern Greek cooking in order to give a special and unique character to your cooked dishes and salads. Oxymelo is made of only 2 natural ingredients, barrel aged vinegar and thyme honey.

But if you prefer to keep it simple when it comes to dressing your salad, cooking or grilling, choose a classic Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, like Gaea Sitia. This oil comes from the P.D.O. region of SITIA in eastern Crete – one of the most celebrated olive oil producing territories in the world! With a fruity and versatile flavor profile, this oil has a medium intensity flavor with distinctive varietal character.

The recipe below is a delicious example of how to incorporate canola or olive oil into your summer barbecue repertoire:

  • Niçoise salad with grilled tuna

Niçoise salad with grilled tuna Niçoise salad with grilled tuna Photo: canolainfo

INGREDIENTS

Salad

3/4 lb. red potatoes, diced 350 g

1/2 lb. of green beans 250 g

4 tuna steaks (4 oz. / 125 g each, about 3/4 inch thick)

Canola or Olive spray oil

4 cups (2 oz. / 57 g) tender spinach leaves

16 olives, thick pruning

Vinaigrette

2 tbsp. Canola oil 30 ml

2 tbsp. Of red wine vinegar 30 ml

1 tbsp. Of water 15 ml

1/8 tsp. Of salt 0.5 mL

1/2 medium garlic clove, finely chopped

1/8 tsp. Dried red chili (pepper) 0.5 mL

1 tbsp. Fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp. (5 mL) dried oregano leaves 15 mL

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook potatoes and green beans for 6 minutes or until softened. Drain and rinse with cold water, shaking off excess liquid.

2. While the vegetables are cooked, combine the ingredients of the vinaigrette in a small jar; Cover and shake to mix well. Reserve 1/4 cup (60 mL) vinaigrette and coat fish with remaining vinaigrette (1 tbsp. / 15 mL).

3. Spray a frying pan (iron) with spray canola oil and heat well over medium-high heat. Cook the tuna on high heat for 3 minutes per side or until you reach a medium-low or the desired cooking point. (Do not overcook it, because the fish hardens.)

4. Distribute the spinach leaves equally on four plates. Arrange the potatoes, green beans and olives on the spinach. Sprinkle each serving of salad with 1 tbsp. (15 mL) of vinaigrette and top with tuna.

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