By: Sarah Beth Hawkins
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 healthy cooking, 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.
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). According to research, olive oil may benefit heart health and reduce the risk for heart disease (x).
Smoke Point: Low. Olive oil is best for low and medium-heat cooking.
Canola oil comes from a flowering plant called rapeseed. Out of all of the vegetable oils, this one has the least saturated fat, containing both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. However, most canola oil in the U.S. is processed, meaning it may not have as many nutrients. So make sure to look for unprocessed or “cold-pressed” canola oil.
Smoke Point: High. Canola oil is great for high temperature cooking.
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.
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.
If you’re looking for an oil that has flavor, this one is a good choice. To be expected, peanut oil has a nutty smell and taste. It also has nearly the highest monounsaturated fat content out of the cooking oils.
Smoke Point: High. Peanut oil cooks well with high heat.
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 healthy cooking oils when you’re preparing your next meal.