The Top 10 Best Cooking Oils
If you like to be a chef every once and a while, you may be confused about the best cooking oil to use.
This may especially be the case if you are on a diet. With so many skeptics and critics analyzing this oil and that, one of our leading dietitians, Christy, and one of our chefs, Chef Krishna, explain which oils to use while you cook, and which ones to avoid completely.
10. Grapeseed Oil
Christy: “This oil contains polyunsaturated fats, and is low in saturated fat, making it very heart healthy.”
Chef K: “Grapeseed oil is very versatile, and can be used to add a very mild, nutty flavor to almost any dish. It’s great for salads, and can make for a nice drizzle over toasted bread.”
9. Sunflower Oil
Christy: “Sunflower oil is also heart healthy, and contains polyunsaturated fats and is low in saturated fats. It’s definitely a good ‘all purpose’ oil.”
Chef K: “Sunflower oil has a high smoke point of about 460 degrees F. This oil is great for high-heat cooking like sauteing. It's actually great for sauteing vegetables.”
8. Safflower Oil
Christy: “Also low in saturated fat, using safflower oil to cook with can help lower your cholesterol. A lower cholesterol also means a reduced risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases.”
Chef K: “Safflower oil also has a high smoke point of about 450 degrees F. This makes it good for high-heat cooking, like sauteing or frying. It has such a distinct flavor and it’s great for cooking foods like chicken and pasta.”
7. Avocado Oil
Christy: “Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fats, and vitamin E. It’s a great oil to use if you are on a diet, or if you are diabetic. In certain studies, monounsaturated fats have been shown to help control insulin levels and blood sugar.”
Chef K: “Avocado oil also has a high smoke point of about 510 degrees F. This makes it a good oil for high heat cooking, like sauteing and frying. It’s great in salads, and can be used to add a little extra flavor to chicken, beef, pork or fish.”
6. Peanut Oil
Christy: “Peanut oil also contains monounsaturated fats, and is low in saturated fat, making it a heart healthy option.”
Chef K: “Peanut oil has a medium smoke point of about 350 degrees F. This is a good oil for light sauteing and frying. It’s great to use in Thai and Asian recipes, and is a great addition to sauces and salad dressings.”
5. Almond Oil
Christy: “Almond oil also contains monounsaturated fats, which makes it good for your cholesterol. It's also an ideal cooking choice if you are diabetic.”
Chef K: “Almond oil has a high smoke point of about 495 degrees F, and is good for high heat cooking, like sauteing. It’s great flavor also works well as a healthier substitute in dessert recipes, like whipped cream.”
4. Olive Oil
Christy: “Olive oil is healthy because it contains monounsaturated fats, which makes it very heart healthy—it’s a great oil to use if you are diabetic, or if you have high cholesterol.”
Chef K: “Olive oil has a medium smoke point of about 350 degrees F. It’s a great, flavorful oil for foods like pesto sauce and salad dressings. It’s also great for sauteing vegetables, and is a great choice for cooking chicken."
3. Flaxseed Oil
Christy: “Flaxseed oil contains polyunsaturated fats, and has a good source of omega-3’s. Omega 3 fatty acids help improve brain function and promote heart health.”
Chef K: “Flaxseed oil has a low smoke point of about 225 degrees F, so it should not be used for cooking over heat. Instead, it’s great for mixing into meals after heating, or it can be added to salad dressings or used in certain smoothies.”
2. Walnut Oil
Christy: “Walnut oil contains polyunsaturated fats, and is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. This is a very heart-healthy oil, and is a great cooking oil to use if you are diabetic.”
Chef K: “Walnut oil has a very high smoke point of about 400 degrees F, which makes it a great oil to use for baking. It’s also great for sauteing at low-medium heat. It can also make your salad pop, simply by drizzling it over the top.”
1. Canola Oil
Christy: “As far as healthy nutrition goes, canola oil is probably the best. It has monounsaturated fats, which makes it heart healthy, and is appropriate for someone with diabetes,or who is on a diet.”
Chef K: “Canola oil has a medium-high smoke point of about 425 degrees F. It is great for sauteing, baking, and stir-fry. Of all the oils, it can be used to create the most variety of recipes.