Your body needs healthy levels of good fats to work properly – and healthy oils in your diet are the best source.
Healthy oils help your brain, nerves, and your major organs. Good fats also help your body absorb necessary fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D, to help build strong bones.
The challenge is to figure out which types of oils are good for you and which ones might cause more harm.
So, which oil is best for your bones and joints?
The best oil for your joints, bones, and muscles is a minimally processed oil, lower in saturated fats but higher in omega-3 fatty acids.
The modern American diet causes an imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, leading to increased inflammation and other health problems that harm joint health such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.
Most processed and refined vegetable oils tip the scale on the omega-6 side of the equation and contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which can trigger an inflammatory response.
An overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids reduces the conversion of omega-3’s alpha-linolenic acids into forms the body can use mainly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This interference with the conversion further increases the omega-3 deficiency.
The names of some of these oils may surprise you. But current research shows:
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Soybean oil, and
- Sunflower oil
may not be as good for the body as was once thought.
Cold-pressed, organic, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows components of EVOO, oleocanthal and oleic acid, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
To preserve EVOO’s nutritional and medicinal value, use this golden liquid as a salad dressing or drizzle it over vegetables in place of butter. Heat can compromise olive oil’s properties.
Cold-pressed, organic, extra-virgin coconut oil (EVCO) not only has anti-inflammatory properties but according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, it also helps regulate body temperature and can reduce pain.
Consider a fish oil supplement. A high-quality fish-oil supplement is a great way to add omega-3 fatty acids to your body. Choose a high-quality brand using the oil of wild-caught fish. Of course, you should talk to your health care provider before adding supplements to your daily routine.
Other great sources of omega-3 fatty acids are wild-caught (not farm-raised) salmon, wild or grass-fed animals, grass-fed butter, avocados, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Eating the right kind of fat can also help you boost your immune system, reduce pain, and lower your body’s inflammatory response.