The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Cooking Oils
There is a wide range of options when it comes to cooking oils. But, you need to be cautious when selecting your cooking oil to ensure that it is healthy. Cooking oils aren’t intuitive, and it is safe to conclude that different oils are best used for various reasons.
Some oils are great when it comes to cooking while more delicate oils can fill your recipes with rich flavor. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing cooking oil is its resistance to oxidation.
When oils undergo the process of oxidation, they usually react with oxygen molecules forming free radicals and a wide range of other harmful chemical compounds that you don’t want to consume. Here is a simple guide to some of the healthy cooking oils that you need to know.
When it comes to heat cooking, nothing beats coconut oil. Approximately 90% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are highly saturated making it resistant to heat. The oil is usually semi-solid at average room temperature and can last for several months without going rancid.
Research shows that coconut oil offers a wide range of powerful health benefits. The fats in coconut oil can boost metabolism and slightly increase the feeling of fullness. It also contains a powerful fatty acid referred to as Lauric acid that can improve your cholesterol levels and help kill the harmful bacteria in your body.
Olive oil is usually good for low-heat cooking since it is oxidized pretty quickly as the temperatures go up. It also contains great flavor to be enjoyed uncooked, and you can even drizzle it over your salad with balsamic vinaigrette or use it as part of a marinade for tasty meats.
Olive oil contains a high amount of oleic acid, antioxidants, anti-inflammation effects, and supports heart health. Olive oil is made up of about 73% mono-saturated fatty acids that reduce inflammation and polyphenols that are good for disease prevention. The less refined the oil is, the better for you since it contains more antioxidants.
Avocado oil is edible and healthy oil that is pressed from avocado fruit. As a food oil, it is used both as a cooking oil and ingredient in other foods. This type of oil has a high smoke point, both unrefined and refined. The smoke point of unrefined avocado oil is about 480oF while that of refined can be as high as 520oF.
The exact smoke point of avocado oil usually depends on the quality of refinement and the way the oil has been handled before reaching your kitchen. It also has high heat tolerance and doesn’t undergo oxidation easily. Avocado oil doesn’t taste like the fruit and has a smooth and light texture.
Fish oil is rich in the animal form of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy. In fact, only one tablespoon of fish oil can satisfy your daily need for Omega-3 fatty acids. The best fish oil is cod fish liver oil that is also rich in vitamin D3.
However, fish oil should never be used in cooking since it is highly concentrated with polyunsaturated fats. It is best used as a diet supplement to keep you and your family healthy.