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The #1 Thing To Cook With For Weight Loss

It has a lot more health benefits than you think!

You probably wouldn't want to eat Brussels sprouts raw, would you? While there are a lot of benefits of eating vegetables in their raw form, cooking them with some kind of fat—along with a medley of spices—does make eating your vegetables a much more tasty experience. But which fat is the best to cook with for weight loss? While butter does taste great (and surprisingly has some health benefits), and coconut oil is praised for being healthy, the best oil to cook with for weight loss is actually olive oil.

Surprised? Maybe not. Olive oil is constantly used in healthy recipes and is known for being essential in the Mediterranean Diet, which has been deemed the best diet for weight loss numerous years in a row, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Using olive oil while you cook can add a myriad of healthy nutrients to your meals, and makes it extra tasty, of course.

Here's a closer look at why olive oil is the best thing to cook with for weight loss, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.

Olive oil is healthier than most cooking oils—especially for weight loss.

First, olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats, which studies show that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats can actually help prevent weight gain. In one tablespoon of olive oil, you get 10 grams of monounsaturated fats and only 2 grams of saturated fat, according to the USDA. This is significant when you look at the difference between butter and coconut oil. One tablespoon of butter contains 10 grams of saturated fat and only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, while coconut oil has less than 1 gram of monounsaturated and 12 grams of saturated fat. That's already 60% of your daily recommended amount of saturated fat in one serving!

Needless to say, in terms of fat content, olive oil is certainly the healthiest. Having fat is actually good to have in your diet, given that it helps to slow down digestion and keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time.

Along with the monounsaturated fat content, olive oil also has a good amount of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which according to Healthline is studied to help with healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Lastly, olive oil is higher in polyunsaturated fat compared to other cooking oils. Polyunsaturated fats provide omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats that you can only get through food and your body does not produce.

So if you're not sure which oil to coat your Brussels sprouts in before roasting them in the oven, reach for the olive oil. It provides a lot of health benefits and is superior in terms of weight loss.

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, with a main focus on food coverage, nutrition, and recipe development. Read more