Currently I am on a quest to use only the healthiest oils in my food. I look at everything! Anything that goes in my grocery cart has been closely inspected and there are zero unhealthy oils involved.
Here’s what I know, and I wanna break it down simply. Generally you are going to be looking at saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. It is important to determine what you are going to be using your oil for. Is it going to be used as a dressing on a cold raw salad? Or are you planning on lightly sautéing some veggies? Or, will you be baking and grilling with your oil? Thinking about how hot you will be getting the oil is very important because each oil has a different smoke point. All this means is that each oil will literally begin to smoke at different temperatures. Once they begin to smoke, the oils start to oxidize and breakdown
forming toxic fumes and free radicals which we do not want to consume. Saturated and monounsaturated fats are generally more heat tolerant, whereas polyunsaturated fats are not. Another thing you want to look for in an oil is the Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acid ratio. Both are good but we generally consume far too much Omega-6 versus Omega-3, which can cause inflammation in our body. I generally look for 1:2 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids.
Here are some common oils I like:
The seed and vegetable oils below can be highly processed and I do not recommend using them, especially for heat cooking. They are also high in Omega-6 fatty acids and, for me, do not have the 1:2 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids that I prefer:
There are many more types of oils out there and you really do have to do your research. Hopefully this will get you started and shed some light on the good (and not so good) oils available so that you feel comfortable safely cooking, and consuming, healthy good for you cooking oils. Until next time...!