The Best Healthy Cooking Oils and How You Can Use Them
Do you know which cooking oils are healthiest for you? You might be surprised to find out some of them! Here are the healthiest cooking oils and how to cook with them.
Cooking oils are an everyday necessity. You can hardly cook anything without cooking oil. It isn’t just used for frying; it is also used for baking, sautéing, and sometimes even when you boil something like pasta. It doesn’t only keep your food from sticking to pots and pans, it also makes your food taste better and cook more thoroughly. Oils and fats have gained a bad reputation for being “bad for you”, but that is actually a big misconception. It’s true that certain oils and fats are worse for you than others, or bad when consumed in excess, but there are actually some “good” fats and oils that are necessary for your body and brain function. These healthy oils and fats help with your vitamin absorption, skin quality, metabolism, brain function, energy, and immune system. Healthy oils and fats are commonly found in foods like avocados, eggs, nuts, seeds, and yes, cooking oils.
However, you may be surprised to know which cooking oils are good for you and which of them are not. Some examples of “bad” cooking oils are most vegetable and seed oils. Although something with “vegetable” and “seed” in it sounds really healthy and appealing, it’s actually not the case with cooking oils. These vegetable and seed oils actually contain a fat called Omega-6 in high amounts. Too much Omega-6 can cause inflammation and can be bad news for your heart health. Most vegetable and seed oils are also processed and basically stripped of any health benefits their “source” might actually have. So, what are the cooking oils with these healthy oils and fats? Here is a list of the best and healthiest cooking oils that you may be surprised to know are actually good for you:
Coconut oil has kind of gained a bad reputation when it comes to cooking oils. This is because it is high in saturated fats and usually, it is advised that you stay away from them. However, not all saturated fats are bad for you and coconut oil is actually one of the most versatile and healthy cooking oils you can use. Its saturated fats are ones that are easily digested in your body and used as energy, so unlike a lot of other types of fats, they won’t actually make you gain weight or clog your arteries and they will also help regulate the cholesterol in your body. Coconut oil is also antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral which will do wonders for your immune system! Coconut oil is packed with healthy fats and a ton of health benefits, so don’t believe all the bad rap.
As mentioned above, coconut oil is one of the most versatile cooking oils that you can use as an alternative to most vegetable and seed oils. It has a very high smoking point (350°F-400°F) so you can use it to cook in high temperatures such as frying and baking but also use it for sautéing or other low temperature cooking. It also has a mild taste that blends in easily with your food instead of overpowering it. A lot of other cooking oils have a distinct taste that can affect the flavor of your food. Coconut oil is super versatile and subtle, which means you can use it for sweet or savory cooking.
Olive oil is already a widely used cooking oil alternative. You might already use it for your everyday cooking, so keep it up! Olive oil is very healthy and will help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension or high blood pressure, and even depression. It is super rich in monounsaturated fats, which is one of those “healthy” fats that you want to be looking for in a cooking oil. These monounsaturated fats are dietary fats that are burned as energy and can even lower your cholesterol!
Olive oil has a distinctive taste that a lot of people love to incorporate in their food, especially when it comes to something savory. However, because of its distinctive taste, it’s not really the best for cooking anything sweet. It also has a lower burning point (320°-350°) which means that it’s best used for low temperature sautéing and not high temperature frying. You can still use olive oil for baking such as baked chicken, vegetables, or beef, though. It’s also used raw a lot of the times as a salad or sandwich dressing as it adds a nice flavor, and it’s also a lot healthier than other common dressings like Caesar or Thousand Island dressing.
Butter, contrary to popular belief, can actually be healthy in moderation. There has been this misconception about butter that it is super unhealthy and bad for you because it is high in fat and cholesterol, but the truth is, it’s actually a lot better for you than most vegetable and seed oils. Surprised? Believe it. If you get some high-quality, organic butter from grass-fed cows, you can benefit from its natural healthy fats and some fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K. Unlike most vegetable and seed oils which are processed, bleached, and stripped of all its nutrients and filled with additives, butter is all-natural and also contains good monounsaturated fats.
Unsalted butter, much like coconut oil, is quite versatile when it comes to taste. You can use it to cook sweet or savory, depending on how you season it. It will add a distinct but rich flavor that not many cooking oils can replicate. It has a lower smoking point (About 350°F), which means it’s best if you use it for low temperature cooking and baking, not so much for frying.
Avocado oil isn’t one of the more well-known types of cooking oil, as it is a bit more expensive than other types of cooking oils. However, it is actually worth the money because it’s filled with monounsaturated, heart-healthy fats that will give you the energy and brain juice that you need.
Avocado oil is also a super versatile cooking oil because it has a high smoke point (520°F) which means you can use it for high temperature cooking, frying, and baking. It also has a neutral taste that most vegetable and seed oils have, but without having to go through chemical processing, which means that your food will keep its flavor without sacrificing your health.
Knowing what you put in your body is definitely important if you want to eat healthy. Some products or foods may lead you to believe that they are good for you when they aren’t actually that healthy. Sometimes, the foods or products that you might not expect to be healthy can actually be really good for you! In this instance, you may have thought that all vegetable and seed oils might be better than other cooking oils, however, this isn’t necessarily true. Hopefully this list of the best and healthiest cooking oils will guide you on your cooking journey.