The world of cooking oils is a confusing one: which are best to cook with, drizzle over salads or bake with?
It’s not a case of having one-size fits all oil in your cupboard. The change between raw oil and cooked oil can be dramatic enough to turn it from remarkably healthy to astonishingly unhealthy.
Let me point you in the right direction:
What you want to do Cook on a high heat
Best Oil Virgin Coconut Oil
Why? 90% of fats are saturated which makes it very resistant to heat. Boosts metabolism and makes you feel fuller for longer. The fats in coconut oil are used for energy and your body burns them off quickly
Other Options Peanut Oil – heats up food quicker so food absorbs less oil. It contains antioxidants that are found in red wine and grapes and that have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
What you want to do Cook on a medium heat
Best Oil Extra virgin olive oil
Why? Olive oil is well known for its heart healthy effects and is believed to be a key reason for the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
It can raise good cholesterol levels.
Make sure to choose quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has more nutrients and antioxidants than the refined type. Plus it tastes much better.
Other Options Macadamia nut oil, Avocado oil
What you want to do Drizzle over salad
Best Oil Nut oils or Peanut Oil
Why? You are probably using olive oil in other ways and so it’s best to get a little variety. Nut oils can add great flavour and interest to salads.
Other Options Extra Virgin Olive Oil
What do you want to do Take a supplement to boost your healthy fat consumption (you won’t need to do this if you include enough oils in your diet)
Best Oil Cod Liver Oil
Why A tablespoon of fish oil can satisfy your daily Omega-3 fatty acid needs and using cod liver oil also means you get a great portion of Vitamin D3 too.
Don’t use for cooking
What you want to do Supplement your diet with a vegetarian option
Best Oil Flaxseed (Linseed) Oil
Why? Flax oil contains lots of the plant form of Omega-3, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). If you aren’t vegetarian fish oil is better though.
Don’t use for cooking
Oils to avoid:
Seed and vegetable oils are highly processed products that have too many unhealthy fats and should be avoided as they have links with serious diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
- Sunflower Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Corn Oil
- Rice Bran Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Rapeseed Oil
- Canola Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Safflower Oil
Keep your oils in a cool, dark, dry place ensuring that you screw the lids on tightly.
Buy smaller quantities so that the oil doesn’t go rancid before you use it.
Enjoy feeling healthier as you discover different oils!