Healthy Cooking Oils You Should Use
By Sara Butler
Cooking with fat adds flavor to food, but the type of fat you choose to cook with has a huge impact on your health. Luckily, there are many different healthy cooking oil choices out there. The question is usually which one is the best? Here's a breakdown of the healthier cooking oil options and a few cooking oils you should probably avoid if you're concerned about your health.
Choosing Cooking Oils: What to Avoid and What to Look For
You can add flavor to a dish and stay conscious of your health by choosing the right cooking oil for the method you'll be cooking. A few things to take note of when buying oils to keep in your kitchen include:
- Smoke point - The smoke point is the temperature that the oil will begin to break down and smoke. This can impact flavor as well as health because when an oil starts to smoke, it can produce free radicals that can actually harm your health. Use oils with low smoke points for things such as salad dressings or low-heat cooking methods. You can use oils with high smoke points for stir-fry and high-heat applications.
- Fat - If you're looking for healthy cooking oil, then choose one that has omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. These types of fats, when consumed in moderation, are good for your heart. Cooking oils with trans fats and saturated fats are the ones you want to avoid for your health since they're not good for your heart.
Healthy Cooking Oil Choices
If you want to choose a healthy oil, then the best options are:
- Olive oil - This heart-healthy staple is affordable, versatile, and has all the healthy fats you need. This is a great oil for low to medium heat and can also be used in salad dressings. Don't use it to cook with high heat.
- Avocado oil - If you're looking for a healthy oil with a high smoke point, then heart-healthy avocado oil is a great choice. It can be pricey, but it's good to have on hand.
- Sesame oil - A staple in Asian cooking, this oil has a high smoke point and a strong flavor
Cooking Oils to Avoid
With the health of your heart in mind, these cooking oils deserve a pass for their saturated fat content and polyunsaturated fat content:
- Partially hydrogenated oil
- Palm oil
- Coconut oil
- Cottonseed oil
Cooking oil is a great addition to any kitchen as long as you choose the right kind.
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