Which healthy cooking oils to choose?
Olive, canola, corn, peanuts, walnuts… the choice is vast and there are significant differences when it comes to find healthy cooking oils.
But how to know which one to choose according to your needs, its benefits of your health, the taste of each and their respective use? Find out the best cooking oils to have in your kitchen.
Each type of oil has very specific characteristics. So let’s start with a couple of facts that will be true for all types of oils:
- All oils are 100% fat, so they are calories (about 120 calories per 15 ml). But not all types of fat have the same effects on your health.
- Many people seem to think that a label showing “vegetable oil” is good for them. NOT AT ALL ! Most of what is labeled as “vegetable oil” is in most cases processed oils are NOT HEALTHY for you. We will explain why below…
- If you buy processed food products or fried food, you can usually be certain that unhealthy vegetable oils are used to prepare these foods (or worse…!).
Healthy cooking oils vs unhealthy cooking oils!
Definitely something to have in your kitchen as this is a very healthy cooking oils (one of the healthiest cooking oils you could find). Olive oil is known for its health benefits.
But first, there are several types of olive oils, and they should not be used in the same way.
- Cold pressed olive oil: at no time during the process the product should reach a temperature of more than 50 ° C.
- First cold pressing: this is the first oil that is extracted following the process of cold mechanical extraction.
- Virgin oil: it is an oil which is obtained by mechanical process only. It does not undergo any chemical treatment.
- Extra virgin oil: this oil is often the most sought after. It is synonymous with a very low acidity rate giving it very refined taste characteristics.
So why choose olive oil?
Studies have reported a reduction in the risks of coronary heart disease in the regions around the Mediterranean that cook practically only with olive oil. It is an oil that is very rich in monounsaturated fats and contains a large amount of antioxidants known to slow the onset of certain cancers and cardiovascular disorders.
This oil is probably the number 1 choice (with olive oil) and one of the best oils to have in your kitchen. The taste of this cooking oil is neutral and it can be used almost anywhere.
In addition, compared to olive oil, its price is more affordable.
If you always praise the benefits of olive oil, the structure of canola oil is very similar. It is rich in mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which would have proven benefits in reducing bad cholesterol in our blood. And thanks to its high polyunsaturated fat content, it is an oil that resists heat well during cooking.
Corn oil is relatively neutral. It has an interesting composition in fat with a high percentage of mono and polyunsaturated fat and is low in saturated fat.
It’s high levels of Polyunsaturated fat makes the oil vulnerable to oxidation though, and the oil will produce of free radicals when exposed to heat and light.
It is better to keep this oil for salad dressings and avoid cooking it.
This oil extracted from peanuts has a poor taste and is very clear. It is an oil much used for frying given its ratio in saturated and mono-unsaturated fats which makes it more stable at high heat. However, attention must be paid to people who are allergic to peanuts.
Use it non-cooked. This oil is mainly composed of Polyunsaturated fat that makes it vulnerable to oxidation and production of free radicals when exposed to heat and light. Polyunsaturated transformed oils are the most inflammatory for our body because of their high reactivity to heat and light. This inflammation is what causes many of our internal problems such as heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases.
Use it non-cooked as well. This oil is mainly composed of Polyunsaturated fat that makes it vulnerable to oxidation.
In general, walnut oil is a very delicate oil that do not support cooking well. You will like its pronounced taste which brings a lot of flavor to the dishes. This oil is quite expensive and can sometimes rancid quickly. Keep it away from light and store it in a cool place.
Butter (NOT margarine) is a good oil for cooking. This goes directly against what you can hear to keep you healthy …
If we look at the biochemistry of lipids, the saturated fats contained in butter are essentially medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are absent in most diets. In fact, lauric acid is one of the most abundant MCTs in butter and is known to strengthen the immune system.
With all that said … just keep in mind that trying to minimize your cooking with oils can help reduce calories. Cooking with oils in moderation is OK and can actually help satisfy your appetite and bring you good monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, but be careful not to overdo it as calories can build up pretty quickly.