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Healthy Cooking Oils to Use In Your Kitchen

Updated on June 21, 2011

Olive Oil Is the healthiest and used in Italian and Mediterranean cooking

Which Is The Best Cooking Oil

Oils are derived from seeds and are a source of energy. Added to cooking ingredients and cooked, the meal tastes better and the flavors are enhanced, apart from looking appetizing. Every gram of oil/fat gives us 9 calories which means a tablespoon of oil contains 14 grams of fat and 125 calories. Vegetable oils are one hundred percent fat.

Choosing the right oil for your cooking needs is essential so as to derive maximum benefit nutritionwise as well as tastewise. Depending on how you wish to prepare a particular dish, such as deep fat frying, stir frying or salad dressing, you can choose your oil.

Deep Frying Foods : Vegetable oils with a high smoke point such as canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil and sunflower oil can be used. Unrefined oils of the above will have lower smoke point.

Stir Frying : Oils which are low in saturated fat such as canola, sunflower,safflower, flaxseed, corn,olive,peanut and walnut oil can be used.

Cooking : Extra virgin olive oil can be used, as also safflower and sunflower, canola and peanut. Canola oil is preferred for high heat cooking, while safflower oil is generally useful for medium heat to high cooking also called stir frying and sauteing. Safflower oil is sometimes used in baking as well. For low heat preparations such as simmering, or for use at room temperatures, olive oil is the best.

Salad Dressing : Any that are used for stir frying mentioned above. Cold pressed unrefined vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower or sesame,can be used. Olive oil is perfect for tossing salads adding a depth and interest with its distinctive flavor.

What are Saturated And Unsaturated Fats

Health point of view, it is wise to choose cooking oils that are low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat. Below are examples of what is saturated fat and monounsaturated fat.

Saturated fat : Saturated fats are found in fatty meats, butter, cream, cheese, chocolate, coconut, pastries,fast foods, milk, yogurt,etc,.

Polyunsaturated Fats: Found in seeds, vegetable oils,walnuts, etc,.

Monounsaturated Fats : Olives and Olive oil, peanut oil,canola oil and Brazilian nuts.

Trans Fats : When vegetable oils are hydrogenated, they become solids or semi solids. Trans fats are used in the making of baked items and some snacks.

Oils To Avoid : Hard margarine, butter, coconut oil and palm oil. Thumbrule is to avoid any oil that solidifies even at room temperature.

Tips To Get The Best Out Of Oils

One's overall health improves,you begin to look good when you regularly use oils such as canola, olive oil and safflower oil.

  • Oils should never be heated to beyond the smoking point.
  • Never use the same oil over and over for frying as it turns carcinogenic. And do not add fresh oil to oil that has been used for frying. Leftover oil can be used in other preparations but never for frying.
  • Oils rich in saturated fats can be substituted for healthier oils.
  • It is wise to avoid trans fats. Should your recipe call for the use of margarine , use unhydrogenated margarine.
  • Whether you are on a weight loss diet or want to stay healthy, it would be ideal to limit your intake of fats in the daily diet,especially butter, mayonnaise and coconut oil.
  • Choose oils low in saturated fat.
  • Store oil in an airtight container away from light.


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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Interesting article about oils. We get so much information--one day good and the next day bad. This is really complete. Thanks for the grat article.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 7 years ago from Bangalore,India


      Thanks for sharing,but when you were already eating healthy,what made you switch to unhealthy oils? Just curious.

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

      GojiJuiceGoodness 7 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      We had used olive oil for a long time, but now we're switching to organic chicken fat & coconut oil.