Searching for and selecting a cooking oil may be overwhelming, as the grocer aisle is overflowing with countless brands and assortments.
So if wondering, "What is the best cooking oil?" we have 10 to choose from and their uses and benefits!
Top 10 Healthiest Cooking Oils
Some of the best oils to cook with bare a high smoke point. They also are healthy oils based on nutrient composition and the benefits they offer.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil may be one of the most popularized and healthiest cooking oils to use.
Not only is its flavor versatile, but shows to exhibit renowned benefits to heart health and diabetes management. These benefits mostly relate to the monounsaturated fat and antioxidant properties it offers.
Relative to its higher price cost, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is mostly recommended when wanting to naturally highlight raw flavors. It is unrefined and boasts higher aromas. In cooking, virgin or pure olive oil is commonly recommended to withstand the heat without compromising its integrity.
2. Canola Oil
Canola oil does contain lesser amounts of antioxidants compared to olive oil. However, it does contain alpha-linolenic acid. This is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid that may reduce inflammation linked to arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cardiovascular disorders.
Canola oil bares a neutral flavor and has a high smoke point of about 425°F. This makes it suitable for sautéing, baking, and stir-frying.
3. Avocado Oil
Avocadoes are unique due to the fact they supply monounsaturated fats, which is greatly rare amongst fruits. The oil boasts with other beneficial nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E and powerful antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Avocado oil bares a high smoke point, making it ideal for sautéing and frying. It likewise can be used as a dipping and salad oil and enhance the flavor of animal proteins and vegetables.
4. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil contains polyunsaturated and alpha-linolenic acid. It is suggested to treat a wide variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, and constipation.
Flaxseed oil does have a low smoke point of about 225°F. So, do not cook with it using a high temperature. Instead, incorporate the oil into meals after heating or added to salad dressings.
5. Tea Seed Oil
Also known as camellia oil, tea seed oil is extracted from the seeds of tea plants. Tea seed oil is a powerful antioxidant that may protect against aging and reduce LDL (or "bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The high smoke point makes it incredibly versatile for deep frying or even as a nutritious salad dressing.
6. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil offers an intense aroma and flavor and should be used lightly. Its lower smoking point makes it valuable in lower heat stir-fries, soups, and veggies. Sesame oil can also flavor sauces and dressings.
Polyunsaturated fat mostly comprises the oil, though it supplies moderate amounts of monounsaturated as well. The combination of the two fats have shown to be heart-healthy and offer anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Almond Oil
Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, potassium, and zinc. The total nutrient profile may contribute benefits to the heart, skin, and hair.
This high heat oil has an extreme smoke point of 495°F. It can be used to prepare both bitter and sweet products. For instance, use the oil to sauté veggies or as a healthier substitute in dessert recipes.
8. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil, or simply grape oil, is produced from the seeds of grapes. Nutritionally, grape seed oil is high in polyunsaturated fats. These include linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, with lesser amounts of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. It supplies even lesser amounts of saturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids.
In the kitchen, the oil offers a very mild and nutty flavor to dishes and withstands a moderately high smoke point. It may be used to create salad dressings and mayonnaise or used in baked goods, too.
9. Walnut Oil
Walnuts are considered to heart-healthy nut sporting healthy fats. So being pressed from the nut, walnut oil is likewise high in polyunsaturated fat and a good source of omega-3 fats.
Ideally, walnut oil should be used at a low temperature, as high heat can produce a slight bitterness. The heat can lower the nutritional value of the oil, too. The oil is best used to enrich the flavor of salads and sauces.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an oil extracted from the white, mature coconut flesh or meat. And unlike the oils listed above, coconut oil mostly contains saturated fat. Interestingly, too, more calories from saturated fat are contained in coconut oil (84%) compared to butter (63%).
This has ultimately sparked the debate of the oil's true benefit to health. However, the saturated fat found in coconut oil is mostly made up of medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs). This type of fat may be easier digested than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) from vegetable oils, dairy products, and fatty meats.
MCT oils may offer a wide variety of benefits, including improved digesting, strengthened immune system, and improved mood. What’s more, coconut may lower triglycerides, blood pressure levels, and total cholesterol levels. But the American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat intake to no more than 5 to 6 percent of total calories.
Culinary wise, coconut oil can also be used interchangeably with butter and a healthier choice than margarine rich in trans fat. The oil offers a "coconutty" flavor and aroma and is suitable for baking, roasting, frying, and sautéing.