Ah, cooking oil. The lifeblood of the kitchen and probably your pantry, too. It’s one of those items that you keep on hand at all times because it’s so useful: you can use it to sauté vegetables, deep-fry chicken wings, roast potatoes…the list goes on. But while cooking oil may be a staple in most kitchens, not all oils are created equal. That said, there are some healthy choices out there that can help boost your overall health—especially if eaten regularly for their nutritional properties (and not just for their ability to sizzle). Let’s find out what are the best cooking oils for your health.
Why good cooking oils matter
Cooking oils are a major part of the modern diet, there are various types of cooking oils but not all are created equal. Some oils have healthy fats and others do not—and that can make a huge difference in your health! While some people believe that all oils are equal, this is simply not true. The best cooking oil or most healthy cooking oil for you depends on how you plan to use it:
- If you’re looking for an oil that’s good for baking, look for one that won’t smoke at high temperatures (like olive or avocado).
- If you’re looking for an everyday oil, go with something like avocado or extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO).
- If you’d rather have one bottle that does it all without breaking the bank and improving every type of food from salads to steaks, choose ghee—the Indian butterfat made from cow’s milk solids.
The 5 healthiest cooking oils to cook with-
Olive oil is monounsaturated fat, which means that it’s high in healthy fats and low in saturated fats—and rich in antioxidants. It can be used on its own, but also makes a great base for other oils like avocado and coconut oil.
When you choose olive oil to cook with, be sure to go for extra virgin or virgin varieties (the lowest quality oils). These have more flavor than refined versions because they’re less processed.
Olive oil has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels while improving heart health overall. It’s also a good source of vitamin E; 100 milliliters contains 5 milligrams of the vitamin per serving!
Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which are good for your heart health and can help lower cholesterol levels. The oil also comes loaded with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your skin from signs of aging. You’ll find avocado oil in many beauty products such as lotions and cleansers because it hydrates the skin while keeping it soft and smooth.
The benefits don’t stop there! Avocado oil is great for your hair because it helps reduce split ends without drying out the scalp or stripping away moisture. You can even use this superfood to make your own conditioners at home with avocado mashed up along with other natural ingredients like olive oil or coconut milk (or both!)
Avocado has been shown to improve vision by boosting macular pigment density—the dark pigment that sits at the back of our eyes where light enters; increasing levels helps prevent damage from UV rays (which increases our risk for cancer). Research also shows that avocados may be able to protect against Alzheimer’s disease!
Sesame oil is a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage. Vitamin B6 aids in converting food into energy and maintaining the nervous system. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure.
Sesame oil may also help prevent heart disease and cancer because it contains monounsaturated fat, which lowers levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood while increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL). A study published in Nutrients found that regularly consuming sesame oil reduced oxidative stress markers in the bloodstream after just eight weeks.
This healthy fat can be used as a salad dressing or drizzled over steamed vegetables for extra flavor and nutrients!
Coconut oil is one of the most health-boosting cooking oils around. It’s high in saturated fats, but don’t let that turn you off—studies have shown that these fats can actually improve your heart health and help treat diabetes.
Coconut oil is also great for your skin, hair, and nails because it’s full of vitamin E (which protects against sun damage), lauric acid (which helps fight infections), and capric acid (which promotes collagen production).
Safflower oil is a good choice for cooking at high temperatures. It’s also the most inexpensive of all the oils.
Safflower oil is high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fat, which means it can be used to make delicious dishes that have a high smoke point. In general, safflower oil has a neutral flavor and doesn’t taste like anything on its own — which makes it ideal for cooking and baking.
You should use this oil when you’re looking to add some healthy fats into your diet without adding any extra flavors or aromas (like olive oil). You can use safflower oil to saute vegetables and meats, fry chicken wings or French fries, make salad dressings, cook fish fillets and bake cookies!
Use these oils in cooking and eat a healthy diet.
To make the most of your healthy cooking oil, follow these tips:
- Use olive oil for cooking.
- Use avocado oil as a salad dressing or in recipes that call for a bit of fat (like guacamole).
- While sesame oil can be used both as a salad dressing and in cooking, it’s high in polyunsaturated fats and should be used in moderation.
- When you want to add some healthy fat to your diet but don’t want to cook with an oil that’s high in saturated fats like coconut or palm kernel oils, try using coconut oil instead.
Oils are an important part of your diet and can be used in many different ways. They add flavor and nutrients to food, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they are only for cooking! You can also use them as a salad dressing or even just drizzle some over a baked potato or avocado toast to add some extra flavor. As long as you know which oils are best for cooking with heat (such as olive oil), baking (like safflower), frying (like coconut) etc., then there is no limit on how much good stuff will get into your body with every meal!