Healthy Cooking Oils 101
Choosing the right healthy oils for cooking and baking is an essential part of stocking your healthy pantry. When you’re deciding which oils to use, try to stick to “good fat” oils (think olive oil instead of butter). They’re full of unsaturated fats, which help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and lower your heart disease risk.
Luckily, there are tons of healthy oils on the market right now, so it’s easy to find the perfect ones for every dish. Here’s the lowdown on some of our favourite healthy cooking oils.
Extra virgin olive oil is a pure, premium oil that’s high in heart-healthy fats and has a light, smooth flavour that’s perfect for a wide range of dishes. It has a low smoke point (the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and break down) than many other oils, so it’s ideal for dressings, drizzling, sauces, marinades, and low-heat cooking.
2. Avocado Oil
Heart-healthy and loaded with omega fatty acids, avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points found in any cooking oil. Because of it’s high smoke point and smooth, delicate flavour, it’s a great option for everything from salad dressings and marinades to baking, frying, and even broiling.
Coconut oil is unique because it’s rich in lauric acid, a rare medium-chain fatty acid that supports healthy metabolism and may help to improve energy levels and maintain a healthy weight. Coconut oil has a high smoke point and a light, subtle taste that’s ideal for frying, baking, and even making stovetop popcorn.
4. Sesame Oil
Made from antioxidant rich sesame seeds, sesame oil is known for it’s distinctive flavour. It’s perfect for dressings and marinades and a must-have for Asian cooking.
Full of heart-healthy fats, grapeseed has a light, subtle flavour and a high smoke point that makes it ideal for everything from vinaigrettes to cooking and frying. It’s a great alternative to olive oil for high heat cooking.
6. Peanut Oil
This heart-healthy oil has a delicious roasted peanut scent and a high smoke point that makes it ideal for stir frys and other fried or high heat dishes.
7. Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is a great source of essential fatty acids. It’s low smoke point and light flavour makes it a great base for salad dressings and welcome addition to juices, smoothies, soups, and sauces.
8. Walnut Oil
Walnut oil is loaded with Omega 3 and antioxidants, as well as heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats. It’s great for medium-high heat cooking and baking and has a rich, nutty flavour that’s perfect for salad dressings, pasta, grilled meats and fish, and even baked pastries and cakes.