Oil and nutrition - how to choose?

As a natural product, oil is essential to our diet and should be included in our everyday menus. Lipids provide energy, transport vitamins and play an essential role in several vital functions.

While all vegetable oils contain 100% lipids and must therefore be consumed in moderation to maintain a healthy weight, each has its own composition of fatty acids and beneficial vitamins. Clear nutrition recommendations will help consumers make an informed choice and give them the facts they need to use each oil for a healthy and balanced diet.

Composition of a vegetable oil:
99% triglycerides and 1% minor elements (vitamin E, vitamin A, etc.)

Fatty acids

Tous les acides gras n’ont pas la même valeur nutritive. En effet, les lipides d’origine animale contiennent des acides gras saturés susceptibles d’avoir des effets néfastes pour notre organisme (hypercholestérolémie), surtout s’ils sont absorbés en trop grande quantité.

On the other hand, vegetable oils are composed mainly of unsaturated fatty acids: monounsaturated (oleic acid or omega 9) or polyunsaturated (linoleic acid or omega 6 and alpha-linolenic acid or omega 3). Omega 3 and omega 6 are said to be "essential" because they are not produced by our body and must be provided by food.

Alpha-linolenic acid or OMEGA 3

Alpha-linolenic acid contributes to the maintenance of normal cholesterol levels. Good sources of omega 3 are oily fish, certain shellfish and rapeseed, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, etc.

The recommended daily intake of omega 3 is 2.2 g/day. For example, 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil (10 g) provides 100% of the RDI.

Linoleic acid or OMEGA 6

This essential fatty acid contribue à maintenir une cholestérolémie normale. On le retrouve dans les œufs ou certaines viandes (en quantités variables selon l’alimentation des animaux), dans les céréales et dans la plupart des huiles végétales, et notamment grape seed, sunflower, pumpkin seed, sesame.

Note: it is important to get a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 (between 4 and 5) in your diet.

The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 8.9 g of linoleic acid.

Oleic acid or OMEGA 9

This monounsaturated fatty acid is used as a replacement forsaturated fatty acid in the diet and helps maintain normal cholesterol levels. It plays a regulatory role.

It is found in olives, hazelnuts and avocados. It is the principal component of olive oil, widely consumed in Mediterranean countries and contributing to the benefits of the famous Cretan diet, as well as of avocado oil, hazelnut and rapeseed.

Vitamin E

This powerful antioxidant helps protect cells against oxidative stress. It is found in argan, rapeseed, hazelnut, sesameand sunflower oils.

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin E is 12mg/day.

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