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Healthy Cooking with Oils

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Healthy Cooking with OilsEating healthy involves cooking healthy food – which is where your cooking oil really takes center stage.

Everyone knows the foods to eat that improve health, although how we cook the food can be just as important.

With there being so many oils and butter products claiming to be the best, it can be quite difficult to know which ones to use and which ones to avoid.

1.  Canola oil

Canola oil is a popular oil, with many physicians claiming that it has the ability to lower the risk of heart disease.

The oil is low in saturated fat, high in monounsaturated fat, and offers the best fatty acid composition when compared to other oils.

You can use canola oil in sauteing, as a marinade and even in low temperature stir frying.

It has a bland flavor, which makes it a great oil for foods that contain many spices.  Unlike other oils, this one won’t interfere with the taste of your meal.

2.  Olive oil

Olive oil offers a very distinct flavor with plenty of heart healthy ingredients.  The oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, helps to lower cholesterol levels and reduce risk of cancer.  It’s also rich in antioxidants and has a very long storage life.

Even though it can be used in cooking, it’s the healthiest when uncooked, such as with a salad or dipping sauce.  When you use it with cooking, you should heat it on low to medium temperatures, making sure to avoid high heat.

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4. Coconut Oils

Coconut oil is full of flavor and has nutrients like vitamin E, K and iron that are retained at high temperatures. This is one of my favorite oils – for cooking, for spreading on toast and for hair and skincare! Purchase Organic Coconut Oil Here

5. Flax Seed Oils

Healthy Cooking with OilsFlax seed oil is full of essential omega-3 fatty acids. You can use it unheated in shakes, salad dressing, cereals or on toast.

6. Ghee

Ghee is a butter that is free of impurities and cholesterol. However, use sparingly if you are trying to lose weight. It is also very calming to the nervous system.

7. Grapeseed Oil

This oil maintains its healthy properties known to fight cancers and lower cholesterol at high temperatures.

8. Hemp Oil

Just like flax seed oil, hemp oil is full of the essential omega-3 fatty acids and should be used unheated. Purchase Organic Hemp Oil Here

9.  Butter

Butter is one food that has been around for many, many years.  Butter tastes good, and offers sources of Vitamin A and other fat soluble vitamins such as E, K, and even D.  Butter is also made from natural ingredients and not chemically or artificially processed.

You can use butter with cooking, baking, or even as a spread.  You can also pair it with creamy sauces, marinades, baked dishes, or even bread.

10.  Margarine

Margarine was first introduced as an alternative to high fat butter.  When it was first created however, it was loaded with trans fat, a substance that we now know raises bad cholesterol.

As a cooking oil, margarine tastes good, it’s lower in fat than most oils and butter, and it’s quite easy to spread.  It’s available in a variety of different products and a good source of vitamin E.

Know the smoke point

Because of their chemical makeup, some oils are better suited for lower-heat cooking than others.

This is important because heating oil above its smoke point — the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke — produces toxic fumes and harmful free radicals (the stuff we’re trying to prevent in the first place).

A good rule of thumb: The more refined the oil, the higher its smoke point.

High smoke point

Best suited for searing, browning and deep frying (although the latter is not a recommended practice where heart health is concerned).

Oil % Mono % Poly % Sat Nutrition Notes
Almond 65 28 7 Distinctive nutty flavor
Avocado 65 18 17 Sweet aroma
Hazelnut 82 11 7 Bold, strong flavor
Palm 38 10 52 High in saturated fat. Not recommended
Sunflower 79 7 14 Seek out high-oleic versions, which
are higher in monounsaturated fat
“Light” olive/refined olive 78 8 14 The more refined the olive oil, the
better its all-purpose cooking use.
“Light” refers to color

 

Medium-high smoke point

Best suited for baking, oven cooking or stir frying.

Oil % Mono % Poly % Sat Nutrition Notes
Canola 62 31 7 Contains low levels of omega-3
Grapeseed 17 73 10 High in omega-6
Macadamia nut 84 3 13 Bold flavor
Extra virgin olive 78 8 14 Best-pick oil
Peanut 48 34 18 Great for stir frying

Medium smoke point

Best suited for light sautéing, sauces and low-heat baking.

Oil % Mono % Poly % Sat Nutrition Notes
Corn 25 62 13 High in omega-6. High-oleic
(monounsaturated fat) versions coming soon
Hemp 15 75 10 Good source of omega-3. Keep refrigerated
Pumpkinseed 32 53 15 Contains omega-3
Sesame 41 44 15 Rich, nutty flavor. Keep refrigerated
Soybean 25 60 15 High in omega-6
Walnut 24 67 9 Good source of omega-3
Coconut 6 2 92 High in saturated fat. Not recommended

 No-heat oils*

Best used for dressings, dips or marinades.

Oil % Mono % Poly % Sat Nutrition Notes
Flaxseed 65 28 7 Excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid,
a form of omega-3
Wheat Germ 65 18 17 Rich in omega-6. Keep refrigerated

*Toasted sesame, extra virgin olive and walnut oils also work well.

When it comes to cooking with oils, there are several at your disposal.  There are many more than what is mentioned here, although the ones above are the most popular.

Eating healthy involves cooking healthy food – which is where your cooking oil really takes center stage.




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  1. Healthy Cooking with Oils | Natural Health &amp... - September 11, 2013

    […] Eating healthy involves cooking healthy food – which is where your cooking oil really takes center stage. Everyone knows the foods to eat that improve health,  […]

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