Healthiest Cooking Oils. Discover the Top 5 Cooking Oils

Updated: 12/29/23

Have you ever stood in the cooking oil aisle hoping to make a healthy choice but left more confused? Don’t feel bad, it can seem like snake oil sales out there! With so many options claiming various health benefits like “heart healthy”, “non-GMO”, and “cholesterol lowering” it’s hard to know what’s real. In this post, I’ll cut through the hype to uncover the actual healthiest cooking oils backed by science. We’ll look at the research on 5 top oils and see which ones are worth incorporating into your kitchen regularly. So grab your shopping list because by the end of this read you’ll be armed with the facts on fats and ready to cook up some wholesome home cooked meals. Let’s dive in and discover which oils truly deserve a spot in your pantry!

An essential component of living a healthy lifestyle is learning to make good choices when it comes to food, including how to cook in the healthiest ways possible. If you’re in need of a little guidance on the healthiest cooking oils, we’re here to help!

There are many different types of oils available out there to cook with, but not all of them are great for your health, so we thought we would look into some of the healthiest cooking oils. So, let’s look at which oils are the healthiest to cook with.

What Is a Smoke Point?

A smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to break down, producing smoke and potentially harmful free radicals and acrid flavors. The more refined the oil, the higher the smoke point. For instance, avocado oil has a high smoke point of 520°F, while flaxseed oil has a low smoke point of 225°F.

Moreover, smoke points affect how you cook your food. If you bake at high temperatures, you need an oil with a high smoke point. For stir-fried dishes, you need an oil that can handle the heat and maintain its nutritional properties. Therefore, if you don’t want your oils to break down and ruin your dishes’ flavors and nutritional quality, understanding the smoke point is essential.

Why Does it Matter

The smoke point matters because when you heat an oil above its smoke point, it can release harmful chemicals to your body, which are associated with health issues such as inflammation, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. To avoid such risks, it’s essential to choose the right oil for your cooking needs. 

Why Good Cooking Oils Matter

Good cooking oils provide essential fatty acids that the body needs for healthy functioning. They contain vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. For instance, olive oil is high in antioxidants that help reduce the risk of breast cancer, while coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which boosts immune function.

Healthiest Cooking Oils

Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is very healthy. It’s also a healthy oil for baking. Note the phrase “extra virgin.” That means it isn’t refined and has a much higher quality than other types of olive oils. It has polyunsaturated fatty acids and plenty of monounsaturated fats (the good fats). Olive oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils. According to research, olive oil may benefit heart health and reduce the risk for heart disease.

Smoke Point: Low. Olive oil is best for low and medium-heat cooking.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is not only a delicious and flavorful oil but also a healthy one. Its unique nutty flavor and aroma can enhance any dish, from stir-fries to baked goods. It is a good source of healthy fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which can lower bad cholesterol levels and promote heart health. It is also rich in antioxidants, such as sesamol and sesamin, that can protect your body from oxidative stress and inflammation

Smoke Point: Medium-high. Sesame oil is best for sautéing and general purpose cooking.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is also unprocessed. It also does not have very much flavor, making it great for general cooking because it won’t interfere too much with the flavor of your food. Avocado oil has both types of good fats, but it tends to cost a bit more.

Smoke Point: High. Avocado oil is effective for high temperature cooking.

Sunflower Oil

A tablespoon of this oil contains 28% of your body’s daily requirements of vitamin E.

It doesn’t have much flavor, but it does have a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, which our bodies need. However, some omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and can actually cause inflammation in high amounts, so you may want to balance these fats with omega-3s, which may work better to combat inflammation.

Smoke Point: High. Sunflower oil is good for cooking at high temperatures.

Safflower Oil

Safflower oil has also been linked to weight loss because of its high levels of linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid. Some studies have found that consuming safflower oil, particularly high-linoleic safflower oil, can help to reduce body fat in overweight or obese individuals.

Smoke Point: Highest. Safflower oil cooks well at high temperatures.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a way to improve your health by making smarter nutrition choices, try to pay attention to not only the food you eat, but also how it’s prepared. Make sure you’re getting enough healthy fats, vitamins and other nutrients you need in all of your ingredients. Try out these healthiest cooking oils when you’re preparing your next meal.

In conclusion, cooking with good oils is a simple way to promote good health and well-being. Incorporating healthy oils into your daily diet can help reduce the risk of diseases, maintain healthy skin, and boost weight loss efforts. With this guide, you can now choose the right oils for healthy cooking without sacrificing taste or flavor. Happy Cooking!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Author: BulkSupplements Staff