Which Cooking Oil to Choose?

Cooking Oil
Cooking Oil | Source

Cooking oil has been a part of the kitchen since ages before. It is usually derived from plant seeds and animal fats.

In some households, the use of cooking oil such as vegetable oil, which has moderately high amount of saturated fat, is almost a daily practice. It is cheap and available in most stores. A lifetime of consumption of oil without a healthy lifestyle such as exercise, and diet could contribute to heart disease.

A good knowledge on cooking oil uses, health benefits, do’s and don’ts are necessary. Although it is a natural belief that an oil free diet leads to a healthy life, this is not the case at all. The fatty acid in oil helps absorb soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K. It helps in digestion, growth, hormone balance, body organ development, and act as anti-oxidants. In some cases such as in cold environments, more consumption of fat is good. It will help insulate the body against lost of heat and also provide more calories to burn for survival.

General Characteristics of Cooking Oil

Smoking Point – This is the point where the cooking oil starts to smoke due to high heat. Each kind of oil has different smoking point due to its composition. Avoid heating oil beyond their smoking point as it starts degrading its nutritional value, and flavor.

Saturated Fat – are fat that contains triglyceride. These helps build cholesterol and LDL, which are called bad cholesterol. A build up of this kind of cholesterol will eventually lead to blood clots, and heart disease. Cooking oil that has high saturated fat are coconut oil and palm oil.

Poly-unsaturated Fat – It is a good kind of fat, however it lowers both bad cholesterol and good cholesterol. Some sources of poly-unsaturated fat has Omega-6 acids that helps fight cardio-vascular diseases, and Omega-3 acids that help prevents prostate tumor growth.

Mono-unsaturated Fat – it is a good and best kind of fat in a cooking oil.. It lowers bad cholesterol without lowering good cholesterol. Cooking oil that has high mono-unsaturated fat are olive oil and almond oil.

Trans-Fat – or unsaturated fat are bad kind of fat, which contains trans-isomer. It raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol, promoting the risk of heart disease

Storing Cooking Oil

Fat characteristics in the oil affect its storage life. Cooking oil with high poly-unsaturated fat is least stable and oxidizes easily at room temperature. However cooking oil with high mono-saturated fat are more stable and lasts longer. Oil’s immediately degrade upon processing from seeds. Your cooking oil should be refrigerated once opened and only take the amount you need for use in the kitchen or pantry. Although oil might settle and become like lard, it will liquefy immediately at room temperature.

Conclusion

For a healthy choice choose cooking oil for that are low in saturated fat and high in mono-saturated fat. These are olive oil, almond oil, and canola oil. Olive oil can be used for a variety of purposes depending on its type whether it is extra virgin, virgin, refined or extra light. An extra virgin olive oil would have more flavor, and lower smoking point. It can be used for salad dressing. Virgin olive oil to extra light olive oil has higher smoking point and can be used for sauteing and stir frying. For deep frying a higher smoking point is required. Some oils that can be used are peanut oil, mustard oil, lard, and corn oil. Avoid using cooking oil which are high in saturated fat such as coconut oil and palm oil. Although the least healthy oil to use is coconut oil and palm oil, both are still common oil that is used for frying, flavoring and shortening. Do not use frying oil again and again as carbon builds up, and it becomes more carcinogenic.


1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 374 F / 190 C
  • Saturated Fat: 14%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 11%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 73%

2. Virgin Olive Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 419 F / 215 C
  • Saturated Fat: 14%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 11%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 73%

3. Extra Light Olive Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 468 F / 242 C
  • Saturated Fat: 14%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 11%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 73%

4. Avocado Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 520 F / 271 C
  • Saturated Fat: 12%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 14%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 74%

5. Almond Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 420 F / 216 C
  • Saturated Fat: 8%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 19%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 73%

6. Canola Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 475 F / 246 C
  • Saturated Fat: 7%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 35%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 58%

7. Peanut Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 450 F / 232 C
  • Saturated Fat: 18%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 33%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 49%

8. Rice Bran Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 490 F / 254 C
  • Saturated Fat: 20%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 33%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 47%

9. Lard

  • Smoke Temp.: 394 F / 201 V
  • Saturated Fat: 41%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 2%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 47%

10. Sesame Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 350 F / 177 C
  • Saturated Fat: 15%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 43%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 42%

11. Palm Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 446 F / 230 C
  • Saturated Fat: 52%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 10%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 38%

12. Cocoa Butter

  • Smoke Temp.:
  • Saturated Fat: 62%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 3%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 35%

13. Butter

  • Smoke Temp.: 350 F / 177 C
  • Saturated Fat: 66%
  • Poly-unsaturated Oil: 4%
  • Mono-unsaturated Oil: 30%

14. Wheat Germ Oil

  • Smoke Temp.:
  • Saturated Fat: 20%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 50%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 30%

15. Ghee, Clarifed Butter

  • Smoke Temp.: 482 F / 250 C
  • Saturated Fat: 65%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 3%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 32%

16.Cotton Seed Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 421 F / 216 C
  • Saturated Fat: 24%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 50%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 26%

17. Corn Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 320 F / 160 C
  • Saturated Fat: 13%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 59%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 24%

18. Soybean Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 320 F / 160 C
  • Saturated Fat: 15%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 61%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 24%

19. Sunflower Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 450 F / 232 C
  • Saturated Fat: 11%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 69%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 20 %

20. Walnut Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 400 F / 204 C
  • Saturated Fat: 14%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 67%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 19%

21. Margarine, Hard

  • Smoke Temp.: 302 F / 150 C
  • Saturated Fat: 80%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 6%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 14%

22. Grape Seed Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 420 F / 216 C
  • Saturated Fat: 9 %
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 77%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 13%

23. Safflower Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 450 F / 232 C
  • Saturated Fat: 9%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 78%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 13%

24. Coconut Oil

  • Smoke Temp.: 350 F / 177 C
  • Saturated Fat: 92%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat: 2%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat: 6%

How Olive Oil is Made

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Comments 3 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Thanks for a very useful hub. It's important to understand which oil is best for cooking versus dressings. Voted up and useful.


indigo blue ideas profile image

indigo blue ideas 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks


Shashwat 5 years ago

Excellent usage

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