Fancy yourself as a master chef-cum-really healthy person? If you aren’t cooking with these 10 amazingly healthy oils you might not be there just yet!
In 2017, more and more of us are obsessing over our health and diet. This, of course, is a great thing. The better our diet is, the healthier we are. And when we’re healthy, the world really is our oyster. We can do anything we want!
Oils aren’t always the first thing we think of when we decide to fix up our diets. We know we need to add more fruit and vegetables and more plant-based food in general to our diet … but oils aren’t necessarily high up on our list of priorities.
However, if you cook your own meals, you probably cook with oil every single day – sometimes more than once. And it could be that the oil you’ve been cooking with all these years is actually kinda fatty and therefore bad for you.
Just think how about it: You could be soaking up all your food in really fatty, really bad oil. Not cool.
But it’s okay. There is still time to fix this. If you’re new to the oil game, let’s take a look at the 10 healthiest oils you can cook with.
Grape Seed Oil
People are always surprised when we recommend grape seed oil to them. Not because it isn’t healthy, but because they weren’t even aware it existed!
“Are you sure you don’t mean rape seed oil, dears?”
Grape seed oil is a fab alternative to cooking oil that contains trans fats. It’s rich in polyunsaturated fats (good fats), and contains but a smidgen of saturated fat. Therefore, it’s really good for heart health.
It’s also really versatile and is excellent with salads where is nutty flavour complements rather than dominates the other tastes you’ve got going on.
It’s also perfect when draped over toasted bread. Delish!
Heard of canola oil? If you’re like many others, you probably thought that canola oil was literally propane.
Because we associate canola oil with fried food, there is a common misconception that it’s bad for us. This is actually NOT true.
Yes, canola does have a high smoke point, and yes, it is used for frying. But it’s only the way some people use canola oil that makes it bad.
Canola oil is actually low in bad fats, and can be used just as much for baking and roasting as it can for frying. It isn’t, however, the tastiest oil in this list, so we wouldn’t recommend it for sautéing.
No doubt you’ve already heard of sunflower oil, and perhaps you’ve already cooked with it in the past. Well, now might be the best time to return to it.
Sunflower oil is probably your heart’s favourite cooking oil. Its polyunsaturated fats content promote cardiovascular health, and it contains very few trans fats.
We like to think of it as an “all purpose” cooking oil that works well with a variety of dishes. However, it’s at its best when its smoking at around four-hundred and sixty degrees F. As such, it’s ideal for when you want to sauté some vegetables like peppers.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Health fanatics literally obsess over extra-virgin olive oil – and for good reason. This healthy cooking oil promotes heart health, and is rich in mono-saturated fats.
The best thing? It tastes delicious and adds a kick to your salads.
The only caveat is that it has a fairly low smoke point, which means it doesn’t come highly recommended for roasting or frying at high temperatures.
You may find that there are a few oils on this list that you haven’t heard of before, and safflower oil may be one of them.
Like a few of the oils we’ve already taken a look at, safflower oil contains just traces of saturated fat. This means it can reduce your bad cholesterol levels, which in turn lowers your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.
Flaxseeds themselves are super health, so it figures that flaxseed oil would be the same. And it is. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it can help to reduce your risk of cancer.
Like flaxseed oil, walnut oil is rich in those omega-3’s. However, it has a nuttier taste that you might find more appealing.
According to some, coconut oil is the last miracle left on earth. However, according to the experts, as good as coconut oil is, it’s not the number one healthiest cooking oil ever. It’s on our list, but it isn’t at the top.
This is because coconut oil isn’t that much healthier than butter. Furthermore, there are suggestions that coconut oil raises both your good and your bad cholesterol.
It all comes down to how much you use it. Use it sparingly now and again and it’s totally fine.
And there really is nothing better than creamy, fatty coconut oil when you’re baking. Mmmm!
Ever cooked with avocado oil before? Perhaps now is the time to try it!
As you might have guessed it, avocado oil comes from the flesh of a ripe avocado (as opposed to the seed). It has a super high smoking point – the highest of any plant oil, in fact. As a result, it’s really safe to cook with.
We suggest using avocado oil as an alternative to unhealthy salad dressings and sauces. You could even drizzle it over your soups. YUM!
We debated whether or not to include rice-bran oil on this list because it’s not exactly easy to find. However, since it’s so healthy, we decided it’s gotta be on here!
Rice-bran oil has an exceptionally high smoking point, and proves its worth when cooking stir fries or boiling vegetables. It can handle heat with ease, which is why it’s so popular in Asian dishes.
It contains calories, but most of them come from good fats that promote heart health. It’s also rich in vitamin E.