The next time you visit your local grocery store, take a look at the aisle with all the different oils that are available. Most people just pick the one type of oil they have always been using for all their cooking. But if asked why they feel that the oil chosen is better than the others, almost everyone is stumped. This is because most of us don’t know what the various types of oils do, or how olive oil is different or better than safflower oil, or which oil is the healthiest for your heart and health.
Well, if you want to learn about ten healthy oils for cooking you can get from the grocery store, this is the article for you. But before we jump into the list of healthy cooking oils, let’s talk about why different oils should be used for various types of cooking. A term to remember when buying cooking oils is ‘Smoke Point’ which is the temperature point at which the oil starts to smoke, damaging the healthy nutrients and fats in the oil.
- For frying foods, try using oil with a high smoke point.
- For baking, try an oil that has a neutral flavoring.
- For searing, it’s best to go for a flavorful oil that has a lower smoke point.
- And when it comes to your salad dressings, always go for tasty oil.
Another thing to remember about cooking oils is that while the list below contains healthy oils, some of these oils can contain fats. So, just because the title of the article states that these are healthy oils for cooking, you shouldn’t just submerge your food in them like they are calorie-free.
Now, let’s get to the ten healthy oils for cooling that you should consider getting:
1. Peanut Oil
Peanut oils is a favorite for chefs who fry and sauté your meals at your local restaurant. The reason for this is that peanut oil is very flavorful as well as having a high smoke point of 450 F which can help you masterfully fry a tasty tempura without burning. This oil is healthy because it’s chemically processed and filtered to give you low saturated fat content. This oil can also help add a peanut flavor to your foods, making it ideal for your next peanut butter cookie recipe.
2. Canola Oil
Contrary to popular belief, canola oil isn’t as bad for your health as you think. While it’s associated with fried foods, it has low saturated fats and a high smoking point of 400 F. This high smoke point allows it to be an excellent oil to fry and bake your foods. It’s not recommended for sautéing or as a salad dressing as it has a neutral taste, making it less attractive, flavor-wise. Canola oil is a processed oil but won’t cause any significant negative impacts on your health
3. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is a great alternative to peanut oil as it’s a flavorful oil that is excellent for sautéing. Since it has a strong flavor, you only need a little bit for it to infuse into the foods you are cooking. Unlike canola oil, sesame oil is cold-pressed allowing it to be a great unrefined oil option with a smoke point of 350 – 450 F.
4. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is chemically processed like canola oil with a smoke point of 400-450 F with a neutral flavoring. The high smoke point allows it be ideal for frying, baking or roasting but unsuitable for some who wants to sauté their dishes. Vegetable oil is not as healthy as the other oils since the chemical processing causes some of the natural mineral content to be depleted.
5. Pure Olive Oil
Probably to most famous of all the oils in this list, olive oil is found as either, the pure olive oil or the extra virgin olive oil. The EVOO has more healthy fats for your heart, but pure olive oil can be used for high-temperature cooking like frying with a smoke point of 465 F. Overall, pure olive oil is an excellent cooking oil that is loved by people around the world.
6. Coconut Oil
We have all heard of how coconut oil can be used for its beauty benefits, but what about cooking? Well, it’s not the healthiest oil that you can use because it has high saturated fat content with 12 grams to a tablespoon. The reason coconut oil makes this list is that, unlike butter, it boosts both the ‘good’ cholesterol and the ‘bad’ cholesterol in a ratio that is healthy for your heart.
7. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are high in omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fish oil supplements or from Salmon and mackerel. This means that you can get your daily omega-3 fatty acids without having to eat fish. Unfortunately, you can’t cook with flaxseed oil as it can oxidize readily and is sensitive to heat. However, flaxseed oils are great for salad dressings and for being drizzled on foods for its exciting flavoring.
8. Extra-virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is favorite oil for anyone who wants to buy healthy oil for the kitchen. This oil contains monounsaturated fats that are very healthy for the heart while being flavorful for your perfect sauté and salad dressing. It is produced by cold pressing instead of being chemically processed, causing it to have a low smoke point between 325 and 375 F. Unfortunately, you are not recommended to cook above the smoke point with this oil as it can disrupt the flavor and reduce the nutritional value of the oil.
9. Safflower Oil
Safflower oil is rich in omega-9 fatty acids while having low saturated fat content, making it great for those of you who are still not entirely convinced about canola or vegetable oil. Safflower oil has a 510 F smoke point (the highest on our list) making it great for frying and sautéing while not so great as a salad dressing as it has a neutral flavor.
10. Avocado Oil
Avocados are a tasty treat regardless of the time of the day and now come in oil form as well. Avocado oil is a new type of oil that is quite expensive to buy but can be great for the health as it contains monounsaturated fats that keep your heart pumping happily. There are only 1.6 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon of this oil which has a high smoke point of between 375 and 400 F.
These were the ten healthy oils for cooking you should be using to stay in good shape while enjoying the various foods and flavors life has to offer. This list was compiled to give you a better understanding of cooking oils and their uses. So, the next time you go to the grocery store, we hope that you will be better equipped with the knowledge to make healthier decisions regarding your cooking oil.