Healthy Cooking Oils

Olive Oil
Olive Oil

There are bad fats that contribute to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, but all fats are not bad. Replacement of bad fats, like saturated and Trans-fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is healthier for our hearts and overall health. While selecting cooking oils , we consider the type fats available in it and its impact on your health.

Canola Oil

With its light flavor, high smoke point, and smooth texture, canola oil is one of the most versatile cooking oils. Canola oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the canola plant (rapeseed), is generally recognized as safe for cooking. It is projected as oil that is “heart healthy” and high in unsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3s. Most canola oil is highly refined that means that it doesn’t have many antioxidants like olive oil does but it does have a relatively long shelf life.

  • Flavor                  – Plain and mild
  • Smoke point       – 400 degrees F
  • Uses                      – Sautéing, baking, frying, marinating

Olive Oil

Olive oil is made from ripe olives. “Extra virgin” is made from the first pressing of olives. If you use Olive oil regularly, you are consuming monounsaturated fats that will help you lower your risk of heart disease and breast cancer, and that’s possibly because of its high monounsaturated fat content, which lowers cholesterol. “Light” olive oil is lighter in flavor and color but has the same amount of calories as extra-virgin. It has little of the olive oil taste and fragrance and a higher smoke point, making it a good choice for baking and high-heat cooking.

  • Flavor                   – Extra virgin olive oil: fruity, tangy, and bold. Light olive oil: mild
  • Smoke point           Extra virgin – 400 degrees F. Light: 450 degree F
  • Uses                      – Grilling, sautéing, roasting, spreads for breads, base for Italian, Greek and Spanish dishes

Corn Oil

Corn Oil is considered best oil for digestion and has great taste. Corn Oil is full of good fats and a powerful antioxidant; however, it’s incredibly high in calories. More than a quarter of the total fats in corn oil, nearly 4 grams per tablespoon are monounsaturated fatty acids. Over half of the fat in corn oil, or 7.4 grams per tablespoon, is polyunsaturated fat.  Some of the PUFAs in corn oil are omega-6 fatty acids, and a tiny fraction is omega-3s. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential in your diet, since your body cannot make them.  Always use the smallest amount possible while cooking and pour into measuring spoons to help you monitor your portion.

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil has a pleasing and sometimes light nutty flavor. In addition to its great taste, peanut oil is perfect for deep-frying. Peanut Oil is made from shelled peanuts and is high in monounsaturated fats. Peanut oil has about 30 percent polyunsaturated fats and 20 percent saturated. Because it has a high smoke point it is good for frying, and it is popular in Asian dishes as well as South Indian Cooking.

  • Flavor                    – Nutty yet mild
  • Smoke point        – 450 degrees F
  • Uses                       – Stir-frying, roasting, deep frying, baking

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil, derived from sesame seeds, is commonly used as cooking oil or as a flavor enhancer in Indian, Chinese and Korean cuisine. Sesame oil comes in two colors. The lighter one is pressed from untoasted seeds. It has a mild flavor and a high smoking point. The darker variety has a distinct nutty aroma and taste and works very well in as a marinade or in stir fries.

  • Flavor                  –Light sesame oil: nutty. Dark sesame oil: bold and heavy
  • Smoke point      – Light: 450 degrees F. Dark: 350 degrees F
  • Uses                     – Stir-frying (light only), Dressings/sauces (dark)