Easy Health Tip: Best Cooking Oils For Your Kitchen



Don't misunderstand.  I love olive oil like the rest of you!  But, many, many other wonderful and healthy cooking oils abound. And they are just waiting for the pour, the drizzle or the saute to bring great flavor and great health!

Follow below to learn which cooking oils you want to include in your kitchen and why, which oils are best to heat with for important health reasons (and which are not!), which oils have the healthiest fat profile and lots more to help you stock your healthy kitchen the best way!

Learn an easy health tip here about which healthy and delicious cooking oils you want to include in your kitchen and why! Find which ones to stay away from, which oils have the healthiest fat profile and great taste and lots more to help you stock your healthy kitchen the best way!



Why Cooking With An Assortment Of Oils Is Best For Your Health


There are many reasons to have an assortment of oils to cook your favorite dishes. Come find why you should expand your selection and include some oils over others:

1.  Mix it up!

Don't choose the same cooking oil each time. Cooking oils all contain various health benefits; thus cooking with an assortment of them allows exposure to the variety of minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients as well as healthy types of fats they contain.


2.  Not all fats are the same.

All oils contain fatty acids, but some contain more of the better ones like omega-3s and monounsaturated fats.

  • Research shows strong evidence that the omega-3 EPA and DHA can help lower triglycerides and blood pressure. They may even aid with other conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and more.
  • Monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy because they maintain good HDL cholesterol levels while lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels.


3.  Some oils have a beautiful profile.

Here are some of the oils with a better fat profile:
  • olive oil:  Of course, it had to make an appearance on the list.  But, the accolades are well-deserved.  It is very low in omega-6s and high in flavonoids, a great health-promoter.  It is not a good choice for heated cooking and best saved to use at room temperature for salads, pastas, sauces and yes, even as a moisturizer.  Go cold-pressed.
  • avocado oil:  It is high in vitamin E and unsaturated fats and contains loads of potassium. It is a great choice for heated cooking.  See the next section on this critical point.
  • rice bran oil:  Both the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association state rice bran oil has the best possible composition of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats compared to all other vegetable oils. This balance of fatty acids helps reduce cholesterol levels in your body because the beneficial forms of cholesterol actually inhibit the harmful forms of cholesterol from binding in the body.  It is another great choice for heated cooking.
  • lard and duck fat:  I am listing this, but honestly have not cooked with it myself.  But it is moderately high in monounsaturated fat and low in omega-6s.  

Don't miss this: The Mediterranean diet uses olive oil frequently. Find great recipes here for cooking the Mediterranean way!











Why Knowing The Smoke Point of Cooking Oils Is Critical To Your Health


The smoke point of an oil or fat is an important consideration when cooking as making the wrong choice can negatively affect your health.  The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil gives off smoke and then starts to burn and go rancid. Here is why that is important to pay attention to:


  • Rancid oil forms harmful free radicals in the body, which are known to cause cellular damage and have been associated with diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and other conditions like cancer, too.
  • Digestive issues can result from consuming rancid oils.
  • Rancid oils can deplete the body of vitamins B and E. 


Here are some important facts about smoke point and the various oils for you to make the wisest choice:

1.  Look closely.

The smoke point of oil depends also largely on its age and purity - hard to determine on your grocery store shelf.  But, remember these two points when shopping:

  • Generally speaking, the lighter the color of the oil, the higher its smoke point.  
  • It is important to check out the expiration date on the bottle of oil before using.


2.  You may need to begin again!

Oils that contain high smoke points are healthier to cook with and do not ruin your dish by burning it. If you leave the pan on the stove to heat the oil and then look away and glance back to find it smoking (guilty!), start over.  Always discard oil that's reached its smoke point along with any food with which it had contact as it now has gone rancid. So not good for you.


3.  Go for the double advantage.

Some of the oils with the highest smoke point and ones that contain some great health advantages (listed in previous section) are as follows:
  • avocado oil:  520 degrees
  • ghee: 375 - 485 degrees (depending on purity) See below for more on its potential health advantages.
  • rice bran oil: 490 degrees 



Learn an easy health tip here about which healthy and delicious cooking oils you want to include in your kitchen and why! Find which ones to stay away from, which oils have the healthiest fat profile and great taste and lots more to help you stock your healthy kitchen the best way!




How To Store Your Cooking Oils For Best Health


Take care of your cooking oils as they are expensive and can make or ruin your dish. Here are two easy but important considerations when storing and buying your oils:

1.  Keep them covered, cool and dark.

The decorative bottles are pretty next to your range, but it is best to store your oils in a cool, dark place away from the heat. This protects them from breaking down or even going rancid. Remember to only buy oils that have been stored in dark glass bottles or tins and preferably in a store that has a quick turnover in their merchandise.


2.  Some oils like it really cool.

Some oils should be refrigerated like flax, sesame and hemp oils.







 Four Other Healthy Cooking Oils To Consider


The choice of healthy cooking oils is endless and expanding every day (a good thing!), but here are a few that I am using lately and why.  If you are interested, I have linked to products I use and have found to be delicious and of excellent value.

1.  Ghee

Ghee has traditionally been used in Ayurveda medicine in place of butter fat for potential health benefits like the ones below:

  • It is thought to naturally lubricate connective tissues in your body aiding in flexibility. 
  • Ghee's anti-inflammatory properties are also to believed to speed the recovery of wounds and heal blisters. 
  • It may also serve as a powerful agent in digestive health, When used in place of butter, oils and other fats, ghee may help to reduce the acid in your stomach while protecting and repairing your stomach lining. 
I do not use it a lot but I find I need very little of it when I do.  The buttery flavor is a rich addition to dishes.  If you prefer to make it yourself, this post contains some great ways to make flavored ghee to enhance your meals.


2.  Macadamia Nut Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil has a wonderfully buttery finish and contains some unique healthful properties like these:
  • Macadamia Nut Oil contains palmitoleic acid, a specific monounsaturated fatty acid that may speed up fat metabolism, thus reducing the body’s ability to store fat.   
  • It is also high in magnesium, manganese, copper, and iron. 
Don't miss this: Try this recipe with macadamia nut oil that includes a powerhouse vegetable. 


3.  Coconut Oil
I bake with coconut oil, saute with it sometimes, use it in dessert sauces, and lately even adding it to my coffee.  Buy the extra virgin and unrefined.  Here are some facts about it:

  • It is high in saturated fat but it can actually increase HDL levels in your cholesterol profile (a good kind) and reduce heart disease.  
  • It contains lauric acid which also has antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties.  

Don't miss this: I use a spoonful of coconut oil every day on my skin as well and have had great success in it clearing up a rash that would not go away.  Here are 5 other healthy spoonfuls I reach for every day!


4.  Walnut Oil

I like to use this walnut oil with salad dressings or a smidgen over plain organic yogurt with berries. Here is why:
  • This oil is high in omega 3s.  
  • It contains a high amount of vitamin C and E as well as zinc, selenium, magnesium and copper. 
It can be heavily refined though, so check out the label.







For Even More On The Topic . . . 


What about you?  What oils do you reach for when preparing your meals and why? Please share in the comments!  I am always looking for new ones and great brands.

22 comments:

  1. I love a good coconut oil but as you say it needs to be the unrefined ones and olive oil is so healthy for you... I haven't tried the macadamia oils, I love the nuts I bet this one is tasty. I find a lot of people don't store their oils correctly and that is important... especially when you pay so much for these better quality ones xox

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    1. Storage is key and you are so right - protect the investment in your health and for great tasting food! Thanks for stopping by, Launna!

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  2. I love using avocado oil to cook with. I even cook with walnut oil. I love both. I've never head of rice bran oil but I need to try it. Thanks

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    1. I love those oils, too, Lee and so good that you mix it up to expose yourself to the various nutrients. Do try rice bran oil for the reasons I listed above!

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  3. This is a great post - really helpful. I usually use coconut oil or olive oil but I think I'm going to go and get some avocado oil and give that a try as well. I also didn't know sesame oil should be kept in the fridge - better go move mine over now. Thanks for the tips. I found your post at the Blogger's Pit Stop!

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

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    1. Thanks so much, Nicole, and so happy to hear you found the information so helpful. Avocado oil is so light - one of my current favorites!

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  4. Some of these oils I hadn't heard before, Lori.
    Thanks a lot for the awesome information as usual.

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    1. Debbie - so glad to see you! Thanks so much for the nice words and glad you learned something new!

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  5. Thanks for this rundown on the good oils. It is helpful to know their smoke temperatures too. Thanks for bringing your healthy information to the readers of The Blogger's Pit
    Stop where we love great posts like this.
    Kathleen

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    1. You are so welcome and I love to hear you found the information helpful for your pursuit to healthy eating, Kathleen. Do enjoy being part of your blog group too!

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  6. I use olive oil all the time and have started using coconut oil more often. I want to try it in my coffee, but just haven't gotten the nerve as yet.

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    1. May I suggest to experiment with a small cup next of coffee time and take the plunge with just a bit of coconut oil! It adds a touch of sweet to the cup of jo, I think, too. If not for you, no harm done! Thanks for coming by, Donna

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  7. Congratulations. This post was among the top clicked on The Blogger''s Pit Stop. Look for a feature on Friday

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    1. Wonderful to hear, Kathleen! It is an important topic when choosing to eat healthy! So glad your readers learned something new to help them on their quest!

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  8. Hi Kathleen this is a very useful post.I have been researching cooking oil for ever.Isaw your post over at Bloggers pit and just had to check this out

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    1. So glad you found the post here helpful as it can be a confusing cooking and health topic! By the way, Kathleen Aherne facilitates the Bloggers Pit but I am Lori, the publisher here at THM and writer of this post. I just wanted to say that in case you were trying to reach Kathleen! Tap on her name above your comment here and you can go right to her blog!

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  9. I am so glad you have helped to demystify and clear up some of the confusion about which oils are best for our health and when to use them. Thank you so much for sharing Best Cooking Oils For Your Kitchen with us on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing.

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    1. You are very welcome, Deborah! Happy, Healthy Cooking!

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  10. Thank you for this... need to get some avocado oil and stop using olive all the time!

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    1. Do try It, Holly! I think you will like it!

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  11. Replies
    1. Happy you think so and found the information here helpful to you.

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