When you peek at the aisle for oils in a grocery store, the sheer number of choices available can confuse you as to which one you should buy; avocado oil appears healthy, but is it? Olive oil as a backup, if nothing makes sense, safflower? What even is that? What about coconut oil? Will it cure metabolic issues?
Discovering a cooking oil that brings health benefits to you is a simple process; try to experiment with different oils. Each type of cooking oil would provide varied flavors to your dishes and health benefits. You can begin by purchasing a few bottles to choose from while cooking. If you like any cooking oil and have decided on the flavor, vary the price range and brand.
As for storing the cooking oil, never place or keep the oil close to the stove. Certain oils may get rancid with exposure to heat, oxygen, light. It will be ideal if you store your oils in a dark and cool place. To get the best quality out of your oils, try to use them in a year from your purchase, and for specific oils, the time range is even shorter. Unlike wine, the oil loses its flavor and quality over time.
Olive oils contain many healthy antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids; an extensive review conducted in 2014 discovered that the unsaturated fatty acids present in olive oil helped reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil is also famous for the vital role that it plays in Mediterranean diets. The Mediterranean diet is associated with reducing risk for conditions and weight loss and comprehensively boosting longevity.
Olive oils have to be cold-pressed first for them to be extra virgin certified. Cold press shows that olives never exceeded a specific temperature during the pressing process, ensuring maximum quality.
When it comes to Olive Oils, harvesting is also crucial. Harvesting unripe oils allow for highly rich antioxidants and healthy polyphenols. Extra virgin olive oil has a comparatively low burning point. Hence, it is ideal for sautéing at medium heat or roasting below these temperatures. It can also act as a perfect base for dressings due to its deep peppery flavor.
Best For Sautéing and Salad Dressing
Burning Point: Refined 465 °F, Extra Virgin 325-375 °F
Avocado oil is perfect for almost any cooking usage in the kitchen as it has a high burning point and a mild flavor. Avocado oil offers the highest level of healthy monounsaturated fats out of all the oils while also being low in polyunsaturated fats. Avocado oil is an ideal healthy alternative in any baked good as it has a very versatile mild flavor. Avocado oil is in the higher price range, but numerous brands provide it inside a spray bottle without propellent to make it easier to control the amount you use at a time.
Best For Baked Goods, Frying, And Roasting
Burning Point: Refined 520 °F, Virgin 375 °F
A tremendous vegan source for healthy omega-3 fatty acids is Flaxseed oil. Omega-3 ALA-rich diets found in flaxseed oil are associated with lessened blood pressure in people with high cholesterol and lower lipid levels. It is rich in monounsaturated fats. Flaxseed oil is sensitive to heat, which may cause it to oxidize and rancid quickly. Hence, it should be refrigerated. Flaxseed oil is perfect for drizzling and as a salad topping due to its very slight nutty flavor. Flaxseed oil has a low burning point, so do not use it for cooking. To prevent it from being spoiled, store it at the back of the refrigerator in a dark container.
Best For Drizzling and Salad Topping
Burning Point: 225 °F
Among the Paleo diet and the Keto diet, coconut oil has managed to garner ample traction. Coconut oil is derived by pressing fresh coconuts or dried coconut based on the type. Since Coconut oils are a rich natural source of medium-chain triglycerides and are 90% saturated, it remains firm. Research on coconut oil is in variance to each other as some studies show it can elevate triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol.
Coconut oil is perfect for baked goods and quick sautéing. However, do not use it at high temperatures. For baked goods, if you decide on using coconut oil instead of butter, you should use around 25% less coconut oil than the amount you’d use for butter, as coconut oil has a higher percentage of solid fats. In any case, Coconut oil is not an all-for-one food, and the amount used should be taken into consideration.
Best For Sautéing and Baking
Burning Point: Refined °F, Extra Virgin °F
Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are present in rich quantities in sesame oil. It is also low in saturated fat. It also contains sesamin and sesamol that are potent antioxidants. There is proof that consuming sesame oil can aid in reducing blood pressure as well. Expeller pressed is an excellent type of sesame oil as the seeds are kept at a cooler temperature when the oil is extracted, which is called cold-pressed. Whereas toasted sesame oil uses seeds roasted earlier on, the extraction process remains the same. Toasted sesame oil pairs well in a stir fry as it adds many flavors, and it can be an excellent substitute for peanut oil if you are allergic to peanuts.
Best For Frying, Sautéing, And Stir Fry
Burning Point: 450 °F
Now that you know the benefits of various healthy cooking oils, choose the one you feel fits your requirements. Remember not to purchase large batches of cooking oils at once; they could get rancid and lose their quality before you even chance to use them. Also, consider purchasing smaller sizes of each oil and experiment with which ones you like best.
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