Knowing the right type of oil to use when cooking is no small task. We know oils such as olive oil and coconut oil are great for our health, but can they stand up to high heats when cooking? What about vegetable oils? There’s always mixed reviews on if they’re okay in moderation or if they should be avoided all together. Today, we’re going to help you decide what types of oils to use when making your favorite dishes.
Olive oil is heart healthy and helps to build strong bones. But this oil should only be used in medium heat. Meaning, it should not be used for frying or baking over 350 degrees. At high temperatures oil can go rancid, causing bonds to break down making them indigestible in our bodies. Olive oil is great to use in salad dressing or on dishes being cooked at 350 or less.
Like several of the other oils listed here, avocado oil has a very high smoke point. The smoke point of avocado oil is about 520 degrees! This makes it perfect for frying. Also, avocado is a healthy fat, perfect for hair, skin and nails.
Coconut oil is one of the best oils around, including one of the best to cook with. It has numerous benefits for your body including: working as an antimicrobial, helping burn stubborn fat, and it boosting your immune system. Coconut oil has a high smoke point, meaning it can be used when cooking at high temperatures. It’s perfect on Brussels sprouts and cabbage as it adds a slight sweet flavor to food. You can also try putting a tablespoon in your smoothie or morning coffee. One thing to note, when buying coconut oil it must be unrefined, expeller pressed.
Butter and ghee
While very different, we’re going to consider them the same for the purposes of this article. Butter, not the garbage margarine you find in the grocery store, is good for you. It’s a healthy fat. Remember our post last week Facts About Fat? You just have to be sure you’re buying the right kind. Stick to (get it?) butter that is made from grass-fed cows milk, that are not treated with hormones and antibiotics. An excellent brand is Kerry Gold. Ghee is another great option for cooking. Ghee is clarified butter, again, be sure you’re using the good stuff. It’s super easy to make your own ghee at home, or you can buy it at the health food store.
We hadn’t heard of this healthy cooking fat until our most recent interview with Dr. Jennifer Shell, so we were really excited to learn about it. Beef tallow is excellent for cooking as it can withstand high heats. It also contains a bunch of vitamin D, helping to build strong bones. Thanks Dr. she’ll for sharing this with us! Check out the Women’s Mind Body Wellness Summit for more information!
Sesame oil is high in fat, but good fat! It has a smoke point of over 400, so it’s great for cooking. Choosing a lighter color version of this oil is even better. But, it’s definitely not something you want to use for baking. It has a heavy flavor so stick to using it when making things like stir fry or lettuce wraps.
Palm oil is found in the heart of the palm. It’s high in vitamin E and carotenoids making it an excellent choice when it comes to health. It has a very high heat point making it great for cooking. And it has a very mild taste which makes for a great alternative to use when baking.
Oil to avoid…
This oil is a no-no, even when it comes to baking. It is genetically modified from its original form containing countless of harmful chemicals. It’s also a partially hydrogenated oil, meaning the oil has been heated and the molecular bonds have been broken down. The purpose behind this is to keep the oil from going rancid, thus, giving it a longer shelf life. But hydrogenated oils are bad for your heart and can increase cholesterol, clogging your arteries.
To learn more health and wellness tips, pick up the WMBW Summit. It contains 6 interviews by top female health professionals plus two workout videos and 3 bonus videos on mind-body wellness with myself, MyHealthSpin Founder Lori-Ann Rickard. Plus a newly added bonus video from Dr. Jennifer Shell! Use promo code “BEWELL” to receive 50% off!