In a category abounding with innovation and choice, it’s the brands combining the obvious health credentials with sustainability and provenance that are top of the healthy oils menu for 2018. Sharna Waid reports
Healthy oils have truly earned their place in the natural health market. While the widely publicized coconut and olive oils remain firm favourites in the kitchen, a variety of innovative supplement oils continues to excite health conscious shoppers.
Rewind some years, and the doctor’s orders meant Brits hastily feeding their families foul tasting cod-liver oils, or ditching butter in favour of cooking with vegetable or corn oils. Palm oil, widely used in conventional foods, seemed like the best option to use on a mass scale, but after unfavourable media attention in recent years, demand has shifted.
Earlier this year a study led by the University of Granada demonstrated that a long-term intake of certain oils could cause damaging alterations to the liver. Out of the three oils tested (olive, sunflower and fish), virgin olive oil was shown to be ‘the best for preserving the liver throughout life’, while sunflower oil ‘induced fibrosis’ and fish oil ‘intensified oxidation’, which is associated with the negative effects of ageing.
As well as health concerns, consumers are influencing the category by caring more about the environmental impacts of their products. As the public becomes more informed about the effects of palm oil plantations on ecosystems and endangered species, some brands are now showing more transparency about how they source palm oil, or whether they use it at all.
With the recent news that UK products can become certified ‘palm oil-free’ by the world’s first Palm Oil Free Certification Accreditation Programme, consumers can easily see at first glance if a product or company is something they wish to support. Increasingly, health and ‘free-from’ brands are choosing more sustainable methods of farming palm oil, or using alternatives in their ranges.
Despite coconut’s mixed reputation, its oil remains a popular choice in stores; this is reflected by brands such as Dr Bronner which jumped on the trend by launching an Organic Coconut Oil as its first food product earlier this year.
Rise of the eco oils
Global initiatives have created room for eco-friendly oils, with the recent Greenpeace ‘Licence to Krill’ campaign helping to push Holland & Barrett to discontinue its unsustainable krill products.
“Sourcing sustainable products has always been a priority within our brand, especially with our Omega 3 Herring Caviar.
It’s very important that we preserve, protect and maintain our thriving marine ecology,” comments Tom Oliver, founder of Tom Oliver Nutrition.
“The demand for healthy oils is as strong as ever, but customers have started to seek out these products in smaller capsules, with no fishy aftertaste. There have always been concerns about krill in large retailers, so we are so pleased to provide a product in a more user-friendly format that has exceptional sustainable credentials, with all the omega-3 health benefits,” says Oliver.
Omega-3 oils have been championing the market for years, and a notable rise in plant-based lifestyles has upped the demand for fish-free alternatives. These include: chia seed oil, algae oil, echium oil and soya oil, as well as the ‘ultimate oil blend’, Udo’s Choice.
“Unrefined organic oils … are rich in nutrients, including omega-3, omega-6 and vitamin E,” says Irina Turcan, owner of Erbology, which supplies natural oils ranging from Sea Buckthorn Berry to Milk Thistle and Walnut.
“There’s definitely more understanding about which oils are good and how to take them, but a lot of misconceptions still remain. You have to … keep a balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Some research suggests a ratio of three to one or even lower,” she says.
The power of plants
The latest trend gaining momentum in 2018 is cannabidiol or hemp (CBD). A popular natural remedy for many common ailments, CBD is fast becoming the
oil customers are inspired to try. This sustainable wonder crop is naturally resistant to pests, thrives on less water and, because of its resilience, has been flagged as a natural way to clean up soil pollution.
Another hero plant is seaweed. Healthy and versatile, seaweed helps to purify oceans, is known to have antioxidant properties and is fast becoming an ‘incredible alternative to conventional oils’, according to Dr Craig Rose of Seaweed & Co.
“Our range of organic rapeseed oil infused in pure seaweed or naturally smoked seaweed has some superb flavours that ensure consumers can see that seaweed isn’t weird … it’s wonderful, and is a distinctively perfect fit within this growing category,” says Rose.
So, while concerns for provenance and traceability remain strong, it’s the innovative oils that tick the boxes in health, versatility, taste and sustainability which will remain strong competitors in the current (and future) healthy oils market.
Healthy Oil Products
FSC Optimum Oil Blend
Organic Omega 3-6-9 Optimum Oil is a blend of important oils essential to wellbeing. The oil has been specially developed to provide a balanced ratio of omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids in the ratio of 2:1:1. This is achieved by carefully selecting and blending the appropriate amounts of certified organic flaxseed, sunflower, evening primrose and olive oils. Pour between 3 and 4 dessert spoons of FSC Optimum Oil onto any rice, pasta or vegetable dishes. It also makes a great idea for dressing salads and cereals.
Life-Flo Aloe Vera Oil
Our bestselling Aloe Vera Oil is rich and nourishing and can be used day or night on skin all over the body. Formulated with Vitamin E and C in a natural coconut oil base to help soothe, cool, and soften skin. Can be used on all skin types.
Linwoods Organic Sprouted Flaxseed Oil
At Linwoods we have a world class reputation for natural and nutritious foods. Always striving to bring you exciting new trends from around the world, we have added Organic Sprouted Flaxseed Oil to our family. Sprouting is an age old practice which activates dormant seeds, releasing and optimising their vital nutrients and stored energy. After the seeds have sprouted, they are cold-pressed and bottled as oil. You can now enjoy all the amazing benefits of sprouted flaxseed in an oil! Add to salad dressing or sauces in place of other oils, or pour into smoothies or shakes.
Organic Black Seed Oil
For over 2,000 years the black seed (Nigella sativa), a plant from the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family, has been traditionally used by various cultures throughout the world as a food and in health and general wellbeing. Nigella sativa is an exotic addition to Viridian’s extensive essential fatty acid range. Organic Black Seed Oil from Viridian Nutrition is of the highest quality, made exclusively from organic Egyptian black seed. Available in 200ml. Part of the 200+ range from the ethical vitamin company, Viridian Nutrition, founded on the principles of Purity, the Environment and Charity. Dedicated to the continued success of the specialist health food store.
Organic Golden Flax Seed Oil
Viridian’s 100% Organic Golden Flax Seed Oil is certified organic by the Soil Association and is exclusively first-cold-pressed seed. Solvent-free. Omega-3 dominant, but also providing smaller amounts of omega 6 and 9, this supplement is an ideal vegan source of essential fatty acids. Organically grown in Kazakhstan and pressed in the United Kingdom. Add to smoothies, salad dressings or take from the spoon. Part of the 200+ range from the ethical vitamin company, Viridian Nutrition, founded on the principles of Purity, the Environment and Charity. Dedicated to the continued success of the specialist health food store.
Organic Scandinavian Rainbow Trout Oil
An award-winning fish oil that sets the benchmark for environmental sustainability, nutritional quality, freshness and purity. The world’s first certified organic fish oil. Produced within hours at the source using a gentle process creating fresh, non-oxidised oil with a full spectrum of naturally-occurring fatty acids including EPA and DHA. Sustainably sourced from inland waters, naturally free from heavy metals. Lightly enhanced with organic orange and lemon oils. Part of the 200+ range from the ethical vitamin company, Viridian Nutrition, founded on the principles of Purity, the Environment and Charity. Dedicated to the continued success of the specialist health food store.
Organic Ultimate Beauty Oil
A balanced source of 3:6:9 fatty acids including GLA. Contains a broad range of potent antioxidants including vitamin E (full spectrum of tocopherols and tocotrienols) and carotenoids including alpha-carotene, beta carotene and lutein. Certified organic by the Soil Association. First cold-pressed seeds, nitrogen-flushed in an amber glass jar for protection from light and air. Recommend alongside Viridian’s Ultimate Beauty Complex Veg Caps for a vegan beauty programme. Part of the 200+ range from the ethical vitamin company, Viridian Nutrition, founded on the principles of Purity, the Environment and Charity. Dedicated to the continued success of the specialist health food store.
Organic Woman 40+ Omega Oil
A blend of first-cold-pressed and solvent-free organic seed oils in an omega 3:6 ratio of 2:1 with GLA and Omega 9. Featuring golden flax, borage, perilla, argan, evening primrose, sea buckthorn and blackcurrant seed oils, naturally rich in linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid and oleic acid, along with a full spectrum of vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols. Recommend alongside Viridian’s Woman 40+ Multivitamin Veg Caps. Part of the 200+ range from the ethical vitamin company, Viridian Nutrition, founded on the principles of Purity, the Environment and Charity. Dedicated to the continued success of the specialist health food store.
TIANA Fairtrade Organics MCT Energy Supplements
Premium quality, purity and high strength TIANA 100% MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) derived from Organic Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. TIANA MCT contain all four important fatty acids: Caproic, Caprylic, Capric and Lauric. When consumed as a food supplement, TIANA MCT are a high-performance energy source to reduce tiredness and fatigue. TIANA MCT Energy with Omega-3 is unique formulation with daily dose 2g of Omega-3 to maintain normal cholesterol levels. FREE FROM Allergens, Vegan and Vegetarian. Ideal for adults and the elderly as part of a healthy balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Recommended for Ketogenic Diet and Sports Nutrition.
Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend – 1000mg Capsules
The body cannot produce EFAs, so we must get them from our food. However, our diets tend not to provide the right quantity or balance of essential fats required by the body. Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend provides all the Omega 3 & 6 you need in a capsule making it a convenient way to top up your Omega’s daily. This certified organic blend uses pure, fresh flax, sesame and sunflower seeds blended with oils from evening primrose, rice germ, oat germ and coconut in the ideal 2:1 ratio of Omega 3 to 6.
Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend
The body cannot produce EFAs, so we must get them from our food. However, our diets tend not to provide the right quantity or balance
of essential fats required by the body.Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend provides all the Omega 3 & 6 you need in one spoonful making it a convenient way to top up your Omega’s daily. This certified organic blend uses pure, fresh flax, sesame and sunflower seeds blended with oils from evening primrose, rice germ, oat germ and coconut in the ideal 2:1 ratio of Omega 3 to 6.
Peak Omega 3 Liquid Fish Oil 250ml
Our great tasting Peak Omega-3 Liquid has natural lemon flavor and is guaranteed 90% Triglyceride form. With 2150mg of EPA+DHA per teaspoon it provides a concentrated dose of Omega-3 fatty acids in every serving. • 2150mg of EPA+DHA per teaspoon • 1300mg of EPA & 850mg DHA • Take 1 tsp. per day with food • 8.45 fl. oz. bottle is a 50 day supply