Cooking Oils – Which Is Best?

Cooking Oils

Healthy eating is about more than just picking the right foods. Food preparation is also critical. There are several different types of cooking oils that you can use. Each of the different oils offers different characteristics and benefits. Which is best for you? Read on to find out!

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is very versatile and can be used with many different foods. It is especially good with vegetables. Coconut oil contains mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which act as a quick source of energy similar to carbohydrates. These MCTs are very rarely stored as fat because they are immediately available to the body as an energy source.

Virgin and extra virgin coconut oil are probably the best cooking oils you can get. However, they carry a very definite coconut taste. This does provide a nice flavor to green leafy vegetables, but if you’re not too fond of the coconut taste, refined coconut oil is a good alternative. It isn’t the purest form available, but if you ensure that it’s expeller-pressed you won’t have to worry about exposing yourself to any harmful chemicals.

Benefits of coconut oil:

  • mental boost
  • hormone support
  • immune support
  • digestive help

Macadamia nut oil

Macadamia nut oil adds a buttery and nutty taste to foods. Like coconut oil, it provides a nice additional flavor to green leafy vegetables. It also makes a great dressing alternative.

Due to its low omega-6 fatty acid content, macadamia nut oil is very stable, making it one of the lowest-fat of all traditional cooking oils, second only to the aforementioned coconut oil.

Macadamia has a higher smoke point than many other cooking oils. This prevents you from cooking out the healthy fats, which is the main reason for using cooking oils in the first place. The higher smoke point also retains the flavor of the oil. If you haven’t tried macadamia nut oil, give a shot!

Benefits of macadamia nut oil:

  • cholesterol/heart health
  • energy levels
  • high antioxidant content
  • eye health
  • skin health

Olive oil

Olive oil is the typical “go to” healthy cooking oil. Rightfully so, as olive oil does have many great health benefits, such as:

  • decreasing inflammation
  • preventing the hardening of arteries
  • may help prevent stroke
  • slight protective effect against depression

However, olive oil’s popularity as a “healthy” oil means that the market has been saturated with different types. You must be careful about the choice you go with.

When olive oil  like other fats and oils  is exposed to high heat, it can become damaged and form into harmful chemicals like peroxides and aldehydes, both of which have been linked to cancer. Never buy olive oil in a clear container. Neither plastic nor clear glass protects the oil from getting too hot while shipping. It’s best to choose olive oil in a dark glass container to make sure it isn’t rancid before you even buy it.

Avocado oil

You may never have thought of cooking with avocado oil before. Well, my friend, you’ve been missing out. Avocado oil has a very high smoke point, which means that you’ll retain a lot of the nutrients in the oil when cooking. Which is great because avocado oil is full of nutrients!

Avocado oil has been shown to help:

  • lower blood pressure
  • improve arthritis symptoms
  • alleviate psoriasis and other skin problems
  • keep your heart healthy
  • lower cholesterol
  • boost nutrient absorption

Avocado consumption can also help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) along with other digestive and autoimmune diseases. Avocado oil would be a great addition to your cooking oil arsenal.

Conclusion

There is no single cooking oil that is clearly the best. The ones mentioned in this article offer many great health benefits and add their own unique flavor and characteristics to your food. To find the one that’s best for you, try them all and see how you like them. Happy cooking, my friends!