Which Cooking Oils To Use When
HELPFUL TIPS FOR CHOOSING COOKING OILS
In a world full of variety, mass marketing, and confusing labels, the right decision can often get lost in the chaos. You need to understand which oils are the healthiest, work best for the type of cooking you’re doing and which ones you should always try to avoid.
WHICH OILS ARE THE HEALTHIEST?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): EVOO comes from the oil that is extracted once olives have been pressed. EVOO is best used for sautéing food over moderate heat as well as being used for salad dressings. Although there continues to be many mixed reviews about EVOO, one thing that has never changed is the health benefits of using this type of oil. It raises your good cholesterol, lowers your bad cholesterol and is also known for its heart healthy effects! Just make sure you keep your oil in a cool, dark place to prevent it from going bad!
Coconut oil: Best used for high heat cooking due to the fatty acids having a high heat resistance. Coconut oil also has many different health benefits and is very rich in lauric acid which can help kill bacteria and improve your cholesterol. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature so it is not recommended to us for finishing oil or vinaigrettes.
Vegetable oil and Canola oil are two very common household oils that should really be avoided for many reasons.
Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil contains an excess amount of Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids which can be harmful to your body. Vegetable oil also contributes to inflammation and can increase your risk of heart disease. Vegetable oil is not a healthy option and using this type of oil can put your body at risk for many diseases due to the excessive amount of Tran’s fat.
Canola Oil: Derived from rapeseeds, canola oil is best used for salad dressings. It is similar to vegetable oil in color, flavor and smoke point. The process of extracting erucic acid (fatty acid that causes heart damage) and glucosinolates (a bitter compound that makes oil taste bad) is not a natural process whatsoever. Although canola oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, it is made from a highly unnatural processing method and should definitely be limited.
OTHER OILS TO AVOID
Cooking spray is typically stored in a can and is used as as an application to frying pans to make sure that food does not stick. Many spray cans such as “Pam” claim to have no fat or calories added, but BE CAREFUL! Each second of spray time equals the release of about 7 calories into your food. Most oil alternative cooking sprays contain genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) such as ‘soy lecithin” and “canola oil” which is derived from a rapeseed plant (GMO plant). If you are going to go with a can spray, make sure it is coconut oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
COOKING METHODS AND OILS
For baking: Coconut, palm, canola and high oleic safflower and sunflower oil work best.
For frying: avocado, palm and sesame oil are ideal for frying.
For sautéing: avocado, canola, coconut, grapeseed, olive, sesame and high oleic safflower and sunflower oils.
For dipping, dressings and marinades: For this purpose look to flax, olive, andwalnut oil.
“Increase your consumption of healthful fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, grass-fed beef, wild fish, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. At the same time, keep in mind that modified fats like hydrogenated or trans fats are the worst choices for brain health.”- David Perlmutter