A Culinary Guide To The Top 10 Healthy Cooking Oils

top 10 healthy cooking oils culinary guide

Given that you have a decent variety of options, choosing the healthiest cooking oil for your meal isn’t always as straightforward as it would appear. Many other nutrient-rich cooking oils merit a place in your cupboard despite the prevalence of the ever-popular olive oil.

When it comes to calories and total fat content, the nutritional profiles of most cooking oils are rather similar. Still, they range greatly in flavor, odor, and cooking characteristics.

In light of this, the greatest healthy cooking oil for the task truly depends on your preparation.

There is a cooking oil that is perfect for whatever you’re doing, whether baking, frying, using a cast iron pan, or blending a vinaigrette.

The Ultimate Culinary Guide To The Top 10 Healthy Cooking Oils

Learn more about what it means for an oil to be regarded as healthy, how to select oil for whatever you’re cooking, and a list of our best cooking oils by reading on.

Coconut Oil

Although some people believe coconut oil to be the healthiest oil.

(Well, as a literal cream, many people think of it as a skin and hair wonder worker.)

Although well-liked and has a good reputation for health, it contains less of the good unsaturated fats listed here than any other cooking oil and can be more expensive. In fact, due to its high content of saturated fat and solid (or semisolid) state at room temperature, the Dietary Guidelines classify coconut oil (together with palm/palm kernel oil) as a solid fat (like butter) in terms of nutrition.

In any event, coconut oil can unquestionably be included in a balanced diet. But, given the conflicting evidence, it would be wiser to rely more frequently on alternative cooking oils that have been shown to have positive health effects.

Coconut oil, for example, makes a fantastic vegan butter substitute for baked products thanks to its creamy semisolid nature.

Furthermore, the flavor of coconut can be exquisite in various baked foods, such as coconut cake. With a relatively low smoke point, coconut oil should only be used for cooking techniques like sautéing or roasting.

Peanut Oil

With a pleasant nutty flavor and aroma, peanut oil is one of the most delicious. Using it in stir-fries or as an ingredient in peanut butter cookies is advised. Moreover, it has a high smoke point, allowing you to utilize it to fry things. It is chemically processed, low in saturated fat, and similar to vegetable and canola oil.

Canola Oil

Canola oil occasionally has a poor reputation since it is linked to fried food. However, this is not entirely justified. Canola oil is a great cooking medium because of its high smoke point and bland flavor, but it may also be used for roasting, frying, and baking. Cooks typically advise against using it for sautéing due to its bland flavor, which doesn’t provide much flavor to your cuisine.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Being totally fixated with extra virgin olive oil? We are all. A premium bottle takes your taste buds on a journey because it is cold-pressed and wonderfully brimming with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Extra-virgin (or “first press”) olive oil has one drawback above normal olive oil: Its smoke point is relatively low.

olive oil - healthy cooking oils

Save your bottle for drizzling and plating; cooking good EVOO at high temperatures can mess with its flavor and nutritional value.

Pure Olive Oil

If you enjoy frying with olive oil, use the purer variety—refined, light, or pure olive oil—instead of extra virgin. It can withstand that heat well thanks to its high smoke point. Regrettably, some of its flavors have been filtered out, but that is the price you pay for using it in heavy-duty cooking.

Avocado Oil

For many home cooks, avocado oil is the newest kid on the block. It has a high smoke point, is flavorless, and is incredibly rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (nearly as much as olive oil). It costs a little more than canola and vegetable cooking oils, which are more heavily processed, but if you don’t mind spending extra for a high smoke point, this is an excellent alternative.

Vegetable Oil

Canola oil and vegetable oil are related. (In actuality, it’s frequently manufactured from a combination of other plant-derived cooking oils, like soybean and canola.) Moreover, it has a similarly high smoke point, is inexpensive, chemically produced, neutrally scented, and adaptable. Again, due to these qualities, it is suitable for high-heat cooking.

Safflower Oil

A less well-known but fantastic oil is safflower oil. It has a neutral flavor, a high smoke point, is high in monounsaturated fats, and is low in saturated fat. It has the highest smoke point of all the cooking oils listed. Like olive oil, safflower oil is sold chemically processed and cold-pressed, with the same high smoke point. All good things should be there in healthy cooking oils.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is another really delicious oil that can be used sparingly. You don’t need a lot because sesame oil greatly enhances a meal. Chinese and Japanese cuisine frequently call for it. If you have a peanut allergy or simply don’t like the flavor of peanuts, it’s a wonderful substitute for peanut oil.

sesame oil - healthy cooking oils

It is also cold-pressed instead of chemically processed, like extra-virgin olive oil. Hence, even though its smoke point isn’t the greatest, it’s still a fantastic choice if you’re looking for flavor and refinedness.

Flaxseed Oil

There are a few intriguing traits of this Flaxseed oil: If you don’t eat a lot of omega-3-rich meals like fish, you should consider using it more frequently. Yet because it oxidizes so quickly and is so sensitive to heat, this one is not for cooking. Use it as a substitute for salad dressings and a garnish for hummus-like dips. Get tiny bottles so you can finish them quickly and make extra sure to keep them in a cold, dark location.

The Verdict

When it comes to cooking oils, there are many possibilities. It’s critical to pick cooking oils that maintain stability when cooking at high temperatures. Oils heated beyond their smoke point degrade and can produce harmful chemicals.

Safflower oil, sesame oil, olive oil, and avocado oil are healthy cooking oils that can sustain higher cooking temperatures.

They also include a variety of antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids, and other substances that may benefit health.

However, some cooking oils are better suited for use in cold dishes, as dietary supplements, or are otherwise contraindicated in high-heat cooking. Fish oil, flax oil, palm oil, and walnut oil are a few examples.