Flaxseed, walnut oils highest in omega-3

May 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 15 (UPI) -- Nut, fruit and seed oils have some of the highest amounts of omega-3s, an essential fatty acid believed to be good for heart health, a U.S. food expert says.

Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said flaxseed and walnut oils have the highest amounts of omega-3s.

However, coconut oil is a wonderful source of medium chain fatty acids, used by the body for energy, he said.

Different oils fit better with different foods. Lempert advises:

-- For salads use unrefined avocado oil; hazelnut, almond or walnut oil; use sesame or flaxseed sparingly to add nuttiness.

-- For light sauteing, or in sauces, use coconut, peanut or dark-toasted sesame oils.

-- For baking, can use apricot kernel oil, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, light un-toasted sesame or refined walnut and almond oils. These also work well in roasted dishes.

-- For grilling or high-heat frying, peanut oil is the best, or choose refined almond, avocado, sesame, apricot kernel, or coconut oil because they have high burning points and considerable flavor.

-- Add a few drops of toasted sesame oil in Asian inspired dishes.

"These are luxury oils. A little goes a long way," Lempert said in a statement. "Oils that are packaged in dark-colored bottles or tins will last longer. All oils will spoil over time, so it's best to buy the quantity that you will use in a reasonable amount of time -- up to three months."

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