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What is the first product you choose before you start cooking? You choose the best cooking oil for your heart, isn't it? When it comes to choosing which type of oil to sauté, bake and drizzle with, olive oil or coconut oil is a familiar option. In this article, you will learn about the best and worst cooking oils for your health.
So, which cooking oil is good for your health? That largely depends on the type of cooking you are doing, as the smoking point of the oil is the point when the oil starts burning and smoking. This is one of the most important things to take into consideration.
If you heat the oil past its smoking point, it destroys the flavour as well as the nutrients in the oil. This results in the oil releasing harmful compounds called free radicals.
Also, best cooking oils contain healthy fats that provide energy, support cell growth, protect your organs, aid in nutrient absorption and the manufacturing of hormones.
Here we will break it down for you which are the best cooking oils.
1. Olive Oil
Cooking experts and nutritionists will agree that one of the most versatile and healthy oils to cook food is olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil isn't refined and overly processed and is of high quality. Extra virgin olive oil contains few of polyunsaturated fatty acids and large amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, which is linked to better heart health. It also has a low smoking point which is best for low and medium heat cooking.
2. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is another best oil for your heart health; it's unrefined but it has a high smoking point. This means you can use avocado oil to cook at a higher temperature and for stir-frying as well. The oil doesn't have much flavour and therefore makes it a good option for cooking. Avocado oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E too.
3. Canola Oil
Canola oil is extracted from rapeseed that contains a good amount of monounsaturated fats and few amounts of polyunsaturated fats. Canola oil is known to have the least amount of saturated fats with a high smoking point, which can be helpful for cooking at high temperatures. The oil doesn't have much flavour as some other vegetable and seed oils.
4. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of alpha-linoleic acid; it is one of the three omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and thus may help to lower the risk of cancer. It may also reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
The oil has a very low smoking point, which means it shouldn't be used for cooking. You can use it in salad dressings or smoothies.
5. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil has a potent flavour and contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Sesame oil isn't high in other nutrients and has a higher smoking point that can be used for high-temperature cooking. Sesame oil is heart-healthy too.
6. Walnut Oil
This oil has a low smoking point which isn't good for cooking. But, it has a good ratio of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids which keep inflammation at bay. Walnut oil can be drizzled over pancakes, ice cream or freshly cut fruits.
7. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is low in saturated fat and has a high smoking point. This makes it a healthy choice for grilling and cooking food. Its nutty but mild flavour works well in cold salad dressings or over roasted vegetables.
8. Peanut Oil
There are many types of peanut oil and it has one of the highest monounsaturated fat contents among all the cooking oils. Peanut oil has a nutty taste and it is flavourful and cooks well at high temperature.
These Are The Oils To Be Used With Caution
1. Coconut Oil
Many say coconut oil should be avoided or had in moderation. Unlike other oils, coconut oil has a high saturated fat content. It also has a high amount of medium chain fatty acids, which makes it harder for the body to convert it into stored fat.
However, according to the American Heart Association, people with high cholesterol should avoid coconut oil.
2. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil comes from plant sources and most of the vegetable oils that are found in the market are a blend of canola, soybean, safflower, sunflower and palm oils. These vegetable oils lack in flavour, nutrients and are refined and processed. So, limit the intake of vegetable oil.
3. Palm Oil
Palm oil is high in saturated fat and it increases the risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, people with diabetes should not consume saturated fat and avoid consuming palm oil as well.