As you roam around the grocery store, you will find a myriad of options when it comes to cooking oil. Unlike before when you can only choose from vegetable oils. Today, the oil comes from different healthy sources. Oils have different characteristics as well as uses when it comes to cooking. There are cooking oils that are only good for frying while others can be used as a garnish to salads. It is good to know that people can now choose from a selection of healthiest cooking oil according to their purpose.
It is best not to store oil close to a stove or any appliance that emits heat. Most oils become rancid once exposed to heat, light, and oxygen. The best storage for your oil is inside a cabinet that is cool and dim.
Another vital thing to take note of is its smoking point. This is the point wherein a specific type of oil start to create smoke and release a certain chemical that can give a bitter taste to food. When it happens free radicals are produced that are very dangerous to health. A specific type of oil is best for a definite purpose. For baking, you can use a neutral oil like coconut, canola, and vegetable oil. The best oil for frying and sautéing is the one with a lower smoking point and flavorful such as extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, and canola oil. For salad dressing, you need flavorful oil like flaxseed oil and extra virgin olive oil.
1. Olive Oil
This type of oil is abundant in the Mediterranean diet and it is linked to longer life expectancy and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil is one of the healthiest oil on the planet because it is composed of monounsaturated fatty acids and a rich source of antioxidants. According to a Meta-analysis done in 2014, they found out that this oil can greatly reduce the risk of having heart diseases and stroke.
It is the best use for sautéing and roasting using medium heat because of its low smoking point that is 325-375°F for extra virgin olive oil and refined is 465°F. Also, it is a favorite dressing for many salad recipes and for making pasta.
2. Avocado Oil
The oil from the avocado fruit comes from its flesh that is pressed. It can offer a very mild flavor with a high smoking point that is 375°F for virgin and 520°F for refined. Its high smoking point makes it an ideal oil in the kitchen for cooking. This is the best cooking oil because it contains a high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids and a very low amount of polyunsaturated fats. Its subtle flavor makes it a good ingredient in bake products, however it is a bit expensive compared to other oils.
3. Flaxseed Oil
This is the healthiest cooking oil for vegans because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that lack in the diet of people who are in a vegetarian and vegan diet. This type of oil is good for people with high cholesterol as it is known to decrease blood pressure and lipid levels in the body. However, it is important to take note that avocado oil is very prone to rancidity that is why it is recommended to be stored inside a refrigerator. Because of its unique nutty flavor, this oil is a favorite ingredient in salads but it is not recommended to use as cooking oil because of the low smoke point that is 225°F.
4. Walnut Oil
This is another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid that makes it one of the healthiest oil for people who wants to stay away from cholesterol. Most of the walnut oil in the market is sold either unrefined or semi-refined that makes it rich in phytochemicals and important nutrients, but you cannot use it for cooking. This is not the best cooking oil because of its low smoke point that is 320°F. In the culinary scene, it is used as salad dressing and even on top of a pizza.
5. Peanut Oil
According to the National Peanut Board, there are wide selections of peanut oil available in the market depending on the technique used in making the oil. You may find it a sweet or nutty flavor. This oil is composed of monounsaturated fat that is mostly utilized in Asian cuisines. It is the best oil for frying, grilling, searing, and roasting because of its high smoke point of 450°F.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is gaining popularity among a group of people who are in the keto and paleo diet. The oil is extracted from its coconut meat by pressing it fresh or dried. Oil from coconut is liquid at room temperature but it hardened when place in a cool environment because it is 90% saturated and high in medium-chain triglyceride.
There are contradicting researches about the benefits of coconut oil. Some studies show that it can promote the production of HDL while others found out that it can increase LDL or bad cholesterol. It is not the best cooking oil for high temperature because of its low smoke point but good for sautéing and baking. It has a smoke point of 350°F for unrefined and extra virgin and 450°F for refined.