Algae oil the latest monounsaturated fat to hit the market

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Experts look to algae oil as next 'good' healthy fat
Some experts say algae oil is better to cook with than olive oil or coconut oil.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Today, most people think of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil as healthy fats to cook with.

Olive oil is mostly made up of monounsaturated fat, and while coconut oil is mostly saturated, it's also considered healthy, and both have been shown to fight inflammation.

But according to chef Ariane Resnick, algae oil is better than both.

"It is the easiest most versatile oil I have found to cook with," said Resnick.

Resnick, who is also a spokesperson for Thrive algae, cooks for those who have diabetes, gluten intolerance and more.

She likes making healthy foods taste more like the fun foods Americans typically eat, so the type of oil she uses is important to her.

One big benefit to algae oil that olive doesn't have?

"The smoke point is incredibly high. It is 485 degrees," said Resnick.

When oil smokes, oxidation occurs, which is potentially cancer causing, so algae oil can handle high heat.

This algae is not extracted from the sea. Colorless and tasteless, it is grown and fermented in large vats, then pressed for oil.

What you may not know, fatty fish like salmon or tuna get their omega three fats from eating sea vegetables like algae. But this type of algae of which there are many kinds, does not contain omega three fat.

And while all oils contain varied amounts of mono, poly and saturated fat, algae's monounsaturated profile is excellent.

"One tablespoon of it has the monounsaturated fatty acid content of an entire avocado," said Resnick.

Experts, like Dr. Roger Clemens of USC's International Center for Regulatory Science, likes the idea.

"That really is good innovation. There aren't enough olive trees to meet all the EVOO requirements. But we can get other monounsaturated fats, perhaps produced by algae," said Clemens.

Price wise, you'll find this oil costs about the same as a premium bottle of olive oil.