The best oils to cook with – Coconut oil and Olive oil. How many of you out there use oil daily for cooking and baking? I am guessing at least 90% of you. And how many use vegetable oil or olive oil all the time? Again, I am guessing about 90% of you. Well, this news may or may not come as a shock to you, but is information that you MUST pay attention to. This may rock your world slightly, but you will be happier and healthier in the end. I too learned a little bit more about the best oils to cook with while researching this subject.
There is so much more to knowing which oils are best to cook with than just knowing which you think are the healthiest. Did you know that if you heat oil to its smoking point (when oil actually begins to smoke at a certain heat level), that some particular oils, at this point, can create a toxin and/or begin to go rancid? You see, when oils begin to go rancid, they produce a free radical that when ingested is harmful to our bodies, causing premature aging and disease. And when vegetable oils are heated or reheated, they create high amounts of a toxin with known connections to heart disease and neurological disorders, according to new research. Are those fast food fries sounding good right now – I think not.
Vegetable oils to avoid include: canola, soybean, margarine, corn, hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils and sunflower. And unfortunately, most processed foods contain hydrogenated oils or soybean oil in the ingredients. This is no bueno! Start reading labels to see how much you are actually ingesting.
Now I hear you asking, “So what am I supposed to use then?” Basically, pairing the right oil with the proper cooking method is the key here. Some oils are good for high heat cooking, while others are better for salad dressing. The absolute, over-all, best oil to use for cooking is COCONUT OIL.
Anytime you need an oil to cook with, coconut oil can automatically be used in place of butter, margarine, olive oil or any other type of oil in all types of recipes. Coconut oil is stable when using cooking at higher temperatures and it has incredible health benefits including weight loss, improving thyroid function, enhancing immune function and keeping the skin looking young and healthy. However, make sure you purchase organic, virgin coconut oil. You can even rub this oil on your skin for the moisturizing benefits.
Below is a guide to other healthy cooking oil options:
Walnut Oil: A polyunsaturated fat and good source of omega 3s. With a smoke point of 400 degrees F, this oil is good for baking and sautéing at low to medium-high heat or try it drizzled on a salad.
Flaxseed Oil: A polyunsaturated fat and good source of omega 3s. Due to its low smoke point of 225 degrees F, it should not be used for cooking over heat. Try it stirred into dishes after heating or in salad dressings, or smoothies.
Olive Oil: A monounsaturated fat with a medium smoke point of 325 degrees F, use this flavorful oil for light sautéing, sauces and salad dressings. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and research shows that monounsaturated fats help keep “bad” LDL cholesterol low and boost levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. In addition, extra-virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants called polyphenols that have been linked to heart health. Always purchase extra-virgin olive oil to obtain the benefits.
Peanut Oil: A monounsaturated fat with a medium smoke point of 350 degrees F, use this flavorful oil for light sautéing, sauces and salad dressings.
Almond Oil: A monounsaturated fat with a high smoke point of 495 degrees F, this is a good oil for high heat cooking, like sautéing or frying. Its great flavor also works well in desserts as well.
Avocado Oil: A monounsaturated fat with a high smoke point of 510 degrees F, this is a good oil for high heat cooking, like sautéing or frying, and tasty in salads too.
Safflower Oil: A polyunsaturated fat with a low saturated fat level, this oil is a good all-purpose oil. Its high smoke point of 450 degrees F makes it good for high heat cooking, like sautéing and frying.
Hazelnut Oil: High in saturated fat,but is it also high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat too, and the three types of fat in combination can haves some health benefits. This oil is best when drizzled on salads, baked into cakes or served with bread. It is often compared to olive oil because of its similar health benefits.
Sesame Oil: On-going research indicates that the rich presence of anti-oxidants and poly-unsaturated (Omega-6) fats in sesame oil could help in controlling blood pressure. This wouldn’t be my first choice, but is okay to use for stir frying meats and vegetables, or cooking an omelet.
A quick guide for you:
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Safflower oil
- Almond oil
Medium Heat/Light Sautéing
- Walnut oil
- Olive Oil
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Hazelnut Nut Oil
- Almond Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Butter (real butter)
- Fish Oil
- Flax Seed Oil
- All Oils Mentioned Above