Cooking Oil

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Which cooking oil is the best?

There are many different types of oils used in cooking. What are the various types of oils best used for, and which are most healthy for you?

All manufacturers claim their own cooking oil is the best! Canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, butter, margarine and even virgin coconut oil each has its supporters.

Many oil types give a distinctive flavor to their dishes, so a lot of this has to do with what flavors you enjoy in your foods.

Try getting a combination of the various healthy oils and experiment with them to bring diversity to your menu!

Also note that most people get WAY too much Omega-6 oils in their diet and not enough Omega-3s. The proper ratio should be 3:1 of omega-6 oils to omega-3 oils.  So decrease the amounts of Omega-6s you eat, and kick up the Omega-3 levels!

Be sure to follow the temperature guidelines. If you heat an oil too hot, it can start to smoke, ruining your food and smoking out your home.

Also, overheating an oil can destroy its health benefits and even turn the healthy oils into trans fatty acids.

  • Omega-3s should be served cold.

  • Omega-6s should be used under 212F.

Before we conclude the best cooking oils), let's look at the essential. We classified the following fats as "good fats" and "bad fats" based on their heart-smart values: their ability to raise or lower total and LDL cholesterol.

Types of Fat

The Bad Fats

Saturated Fats

Animal fats, butter, cream, and whole milk are the primary sources of saturated fat, which is the least healthy type of fat.

Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), which causes numerous health problems if consumed in large quantities. Most saturated fats are solid at room temperature.

Saturated Fats can take high heat levels without damage. They are not exactly "healthy", but they do not form trans fatty acids at high heats.  Butter, Coconut Oil and Palm Oil contains high SAFA.

Trans Fats

Trans-fatty acid, also known as trans-fat, is formed when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil in order to change the liquid oil into a solid at room temperature.

This process is known as hydrogenation, which also transforms the unsaturated fats of the liquid oils into saturated fat.

Like saturated fat, trans-fat may raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart related diseases. Many shortenings, margarine, and commercially baked goods are high in trans-fatty acids.

One advantage that hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats have is that they are less likely to turn rancid, which is very beneficial to the commercial food industry in creating foods with a longer shelf life.

As with any type of food containing saturated fat, foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat should be enjoyed in moderation in order to maintain a balanced and healthy diet.

Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and lower HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).

Monounsaturated Fats

Most animal and vegetable fats contain monounsaturated fat, but in varying quantities.

It is usually in liquid form at room temperature, but it may begin to solidify if it is chilled.

Monounsaturated fat is the most desirable type of fat in the diet because it helps to decrease the LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood and helps to increase the HDL (good) cholesterol.

Good sources of monounsaturated fat are olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and most nuts.

Olive oil has the highest percentage (about 77%) of monounsaturated fat of any edible oil.

Omega-9 oils are "monounsaturated" and can be heated to 325F without damaging their health properties.  Hazelnut, olive and sesame Oil are rich in MUFA.

Polyunsaturated Fats

The main sources of polyunsaturated fats are seeds, nuts, grains, and vegetables.

Polyunsaturated fat is usually in a liquid state at room temperature and also when chilled. It lowers the overall cholesterol level, but it also reduces HDL or good cholesterol.

Recommended daily allowances of polyunsaturated fats should be part of a balanced diet, but some tests have shown that high consumption may actually be damaging to the digestion and nervous systems, so moderation is the key for a balanced and healthy diet.

Omega-3 fatty acid is a type of polyunsaturated fat that is especially healthy.

Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, guard against plaque buildup in the arteries, and aid in brain development.

It is found in some plant oils and in the tissues of all sea creatures. Among the plant oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids are flax seed, canola, hemp, walnut and soybean oil.

Omega-3 oils are "linolenic" and should be served cold. Heating these oils would destroy the omega-3 component.

Fish that are particularly high in omega-3 are sardines, herring, tuna, and salmon.

Omega-6 oils are "linoleic" and can be heated up to 212F (the boiling point of water).  The following are good source of PUFA, grape seed, peanut, pumpkin, safflower and sunflower oil.

Therefore, the "ideal" cooking oil should contain higher amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and with minimal or no saturated fats and trans fats.

The Verdict?

As long as you're using fats and oils sparingly in your cooking and preparation, it would be fine to use any one of the following "good" oils. All of the following oils are low in saturated fats and trans fats. Some have high concentration of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.

Choose corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soy oil or canola oil if you wish to fry foods as these oils have higher smoke point. It is best not to fry with olive oil as its smoke point is only about 190C/375F.

Good Cooking Oils:

The following "bad" oils contain high percentage of trans fat or saturated fats. Some, such as coconut oil, even contain more saturated fats than animal products!

Bad Cooking Oils:

Types of Edible Oils

  • Almond Oil

    • Like many of the other oils obtained from nuts, almond oil is very expensive so the demand for it is limited. It has a subtle toasted almond aroma and flavor and is suitable for salad dressings and as an addition to sauces.

    • It is often used in desserts however, unlike almond extract, almond oil is not concentrated enough to provide a strong almond taste to sweets.

    • It has a high smoke point so it may be used for high heat cooking. Almond oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat and vitamins A and E and is often used as a food supplement and a body oil.

    • It is most often available in gourmet shops and in some food stores.

    • Common Uses: salad dressings, ingredient for sauces, desserts, nutritional supplement, body oil

  • Apricot Kernel Oil

    • Apricot kernel oil is obtained from the dried kernels of the apricot tree. The oil is usually expeller pressed from the kernels and some brands may use additional refining procedures, which does not allow the oil to be labeled cold pressed or unrefined.

    • It is high in monounsaturated fat and contains no trans-fatty acids, so it is a very healthy oil.

    • It is suitable for high heat cooking methods, such as sautéing and pan-frying, and the mild flavor makes it a good choice for salad dressings.

    • It is also popular as a body oil.

    • Apricot kernel oil is most often available in gourmet shops and in some food stores.

    • Common Uses: cooking, salad dressings, body oil

  • Avocado Oil

    • Avocado oil has a light, but unique flavor that makes it an excellent choice for salad dressings or for use as a condiment.

    • It is usually produced from avocados that are damaged or not aesthetically pleasing.

    • Refined avocado oil has the highest smoke point of any plant oil, so it is useful for high heat cooking.

    • It is a good source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, which makes it nutritionally beneficial.

    • Avocado oil can be found in some specialty shops.

    • Common Uses: high heat cooking, salad dressings, condiment

  • Canola Oil

    • Canola is the marketing name for oil that is obtained from rapeseeds.

    • The oil is popular in Japan, China, and India and it is the most widely used oil in Canada. It is also popular in the northern United States and is gaining popularity throughout the remainder of the country.

    • Canola oil is also known as LEAR oil, or "Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed" oil.

    • It has the lowest level of saturated fat of any edible oil and has one of the highest levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

    • It also contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a polyunsaturated fat that helps to decrease the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure.

    • Because it is mildly flavored and inexpensively priced, canola oil is an excellent choice for cooking or baking, or as an ingredient for salad dressings.

    • Extract From: Genetically modified rapeseed - has tiny peapod like fruits.

    • Temperatures: Up to 375F for *smoke point*, but only use cold for omega-3 health benefits

    • Health Benefit: 10% Omega-3 oils

    • Common Uses: frying, baking, salad dressings.  Has very mild taste

  • Chile Oil

    • Chile oil is derived from hot, red chiles that have been steeped in vegetable oil to extract the flavor and heat.

    • If kept at room temperature, chile oil will last for at least 6 months and the flavor and heat will last somewhat longer if it is stored in the refrigerator.

    • It is most often used as a flavoring and should not be used as a cooking oil because the strong flavor will overpower the food. It is very popular in the creation of Chinese dishes.

    • Common Uses: flavoring ingredient, condiment

  • Coconut Oil

    • Coconut oil is extracted from the dried meat of the coconut and is very popular in India and Southeast Asia. It solidifies at room temperature and has a buttery texture.

    • Coconut oil is also used in the manufacture of various cosmetics, soaps, lotions, and suntan oils and is very beneficial in maintaining healthy skin.

    • Coconut oil contains a high level of saturated fat (92%). It is generally agreed among nutritionists and health professionals that foods with high levels of saturated fats should be avoided, but this may not be true with coconut oil.

    • There are several studies that have indicated that the saturated fat in coconut oil metabolizes in the body similar to an unsaturated fat and as a result, LDL (bad) cholesterol will not increase.

    • It has been suggested that coconut oil is much like a carbohydrate: it digests rapidly and it is used for immediate energy rather than being stored as fat. As a result, a greater quantity of coconut oil can be consumed before it is stored as fat.

    • Some studies have indicated that adding coconut oil to the diet may contribute to weight loss because it satisfies hunger and decreases the appetite.

    • People who have problems in receiving adequate nourishment, such as AIDS patients, have benefited from the addition of coconut oil to their diets.

    • There is also evidence that because coconut oil is digested much like a carbohydrate, it may improve athletic performance and endurance.

    • Despite all of the studies and individual testimonials, there are an equal number of health professionals and organizations that disagree with the claims of the positive effects associated with coconut oil. It is evident that more scientific studies will be necessary before the claimed health benefits of coconut oil can be proven.

    • From: Coconuts

    • Temperature: Any temperature

    • Health: This is a saturated fat but a healthy one, and is the only one on the list safe at high temperatures.

    • Common Uses: Deep frying, other high temperature cooking, commercial baked goods, candy and sweets, commercially prepared whipped toppings, nondairy coffee creamers, shortening production, soaps, cosmetics, lotions, suntan oil.  Discard after each use

  • Corn Oil

    • Corn oil is produced from the endosperm of corn kernels and it is very high in polyunsaturated fat.

    • Refined corn oil is one of the best oils for frying because it has a high smoke point.

    • It has a light golden color and is almost tasteless and odorless so it is also a good choice for baking.

    • It can be used for salad dressings when oil with little or no taste is required.

    • Corn oil is often used in the manufacture of margarine.

    • From: Corn

    • Temperatures: Up to 400F

    • Health: 25% Omega-6 oils

    • Common Uses: frying, baking, salad dressings, margarine and shortening production.  Use only if other oils are not available

  • Cottonseed Oil

    • Cottonseed oil is pressed from the seeds of the cotton plant.

    • It is almost always blended with other oils for the creation of various vegetable oils and it is also used in the manufacture of margarine, salad dressings, and commercially prepared fried products.

    • Common Uses: margarine and shortening production, salad dressings, commercially fried products

  • Flax Seed Oil

    • Oil obtained from flax seeds has a buttery flavor, which makes it a good choice for salad dressings or as a topping for potatoes and vegetables.

    • Also known as linseed oil, flax seed oil has the highest level of the polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acid, which helps guard against heart disease.

    • Because of this, flax seed oil is more often used as a nutritional supplement than for cooking.

    • From: Flax seeds

    • Temperatures: use cold only

    • Health: 58% Omega-3 oils plus Omega-6 oils

    • Common Uses: nutritional supplement, salad dressings, condiment

  • Grape Seed Oil

    • Grape seed oil is a byproduct of the winemaking industry. The majority of oil extracted from grape seeds is produced in France, Switzerland, and Italy, but there are also a few producers in the United States.

    • The subtle flavor of grape seed oil is well suited for many types of salads because the oil will not overpower the other ingredients. It may also be combined with stronger flavored, more expensive oils, which makes them more economical to use.

    • Refined grape seed oil has a high smoke point so it is an excellent choice as a cooking oil, especially when sautéing or frying.

    • It can be stored without refrigeration if the storage temperature does not climb above 70ºF.

    • From: Grape seeds

    • Temperatures: Use to 200F to preserve Omega-6; can be used higher

    • Health: 76% Omega-6, shown to reduce LDL levels

    • Common Uses: Great for frying or sauteeing, a bit expensive, cooking, salad dressings, margarine production, cosmetics

  • Hazelnut Oil

    • Hazelnut oil has a strong, roasted hazelnut flavor and is generally used as a flavoring for baked goods and for some sauces.

    • It is excellent when brushed on fish and it works well as a marinade. This brown colored oil can also be added to mildly flavored oils to create rich tasting salad dressings.

    • Hazelnut oil is expensive and it is usually found in gourmet shops, although some food stores may have a supply. If it is stored in a cool dark cupboard, it will remain fresh for as long as 3 months, but it is best to store it in the refrigerator to prevent it from becoming rancid. If refrigeration causes the oil to solidify, it can be restored to a liquid state by leaving it at room temperature for an hour or two. Hazelnut oil is popular in France, which is where most of it is produced.

    • From: Hazelnuts

    • Temperatures: Use up to 325F

    • Health: 78% Omega-9s

    • Common Uses: Stir frying, deep frying, salad dressings, baking, flavoring ingredient, condiment

  • Mustard Oil

    • Mustard oil is obtained from pressing mustard seeds from plants found in India, which differs from the more common seeds that are found in the Mediterranean.

    • In its raw form the oil is flavorful, but extremely hot, so it should be used sparingly as a flavoring ingredient. When cooking with mustard oil, it should be brought to its smoking point before food is cooked in it. When the oil reaches the smoking point, a taste change occurs that results in a smoother mustard flavor, which will not overpower the food while it is being cooked.

    • Mustard oil is widely used in Indian cooking and is a popular addition to salad dressings, stir-fry recipes, and marinades for meat and fish.

    • It is available in Indian and Mid-Eastern grocery stores. It will stay fresh for 6 months or more if it is stored in the refrigerator.

    • Common Uses: cooking, flavoring ingredient, salad dressings, marinade

  • Olive Oil

    • Olive oil has been one of the staples of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years and its popularity is growing rapidly in other parts of the world.

    • It is one of the most versatile oils for cooking and it enhances the taste of many foods. It is an excellent alternative to butter or margarine as a condiment or for use in food preparation.

    • Olive oil is the only type of vegetable/fruit oil that can be obtained from just pressing.

    • Most other types of popular oils (corn, canola, etc.) must be processed in other ways to obtain the oil. (Oil from some seeds and nuts, such as sesame and peanut, can be obtained through pressing.) Another important bonus is that olive oil has proven health benefits.

    • A process, known as the "first cold pressing," yields olive oil with the best flavor and in most cases the highest quality possible.

    • Regardless of the method used for the first pressing, the temperature of the oil during production is extremely important in order to maintain the distinct characteristics of the oil. If the temperature of the oil climbs above 86ºF, it will be damaged and cannot be considered cold-pressed.

    • If the natural acidity of cold-pressed oil is less than 1% oleic acid, it is known as extra virgin olive oil.

    • If the acidity is between 1% and 3.3%, the oil is called virgin olive oil.

    • Any oil obtained from the first cold pressing that has a natural acidity above 3.3% cannot be sold as virgin olive oil.

    • Basic Olive Oil Grades - Three basic grades of olive oil are most often available to the consumer:

      • Extra Virgin

      • Virgin

      • Olive Oil

    • In addition to the basic grades, olive oil differs from one country or region to another because of the types of olives that are grown, the environmental factors of the area, the harvesting methods, the time of the harvest, and the pressing techniques. These factors all contribute to the individual characteristics of the olive oil. Some of the characteristics found in olive oils produced in some of the major olive growing areas are:

      • Spain: golden-yellow, fruity, aromatic, almondy

      • Italy: deep green, peppery, herbal, grassy

      • Greece: green, strong, aromatic

      • France: pale, sweet, mild, light

      • Portugal: golden, strong, fully ripe

      • California: mild, light, fruity

    • All type or grade, olive oil contains 120 calories per tablespoon.  In fact, all edible food oils contain about 120 calories per tablespoon.

    • When used for cooking, the healthy aspects of olive oil do not change as the oil is heated.

    • Olive oil is good source of the antioxidant, vitamin E. It contains 1.6 mg. of vitamin E per tablespoon, which is 8% of the recommended daily allowance.

    • From: Olives

    • Temperatures: Up to around 350F

    • Health: 76% Omega-9, many heart benefits; countless studies extoll this

    • Common uses: Salads, any Italian or Mediterranean dishes, grilling vegetables. Gives a distinctive (yummy!) flavor to foods.

  • Palm Oil

    • Palm oil is another of the few plant products that is very high in saturated fat.

    • The oil is obtained from the pulp of the fruit of the African palm. It has a red-orange color, a strong unique flavor, and is very popular in the preparation of dishes native to the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Western Africa.

    • A highly refined version of palm oil has very little color and is usually blended with other oils for the creation of generic vegetable fats and oils.

    • Common Uses: cooking, flavoring ingredient, vegetable oil production

  • Palm-Kernel Oil

    • Palm-kernel oil differs from palm oil in that it is extracted from the kernel rather than the fruit of the palm.

    • It has a light yellow color and it has a milder flavor than palm oil.

    • Like coconut oil, it is extremely high in saturated fat, but because the saturated fat in the oil is plant based, some studies suggest that it does not raise LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body (see coconut oil).

    • Palm-kernel oil is often used in the manufacture of various cosmetics and in some brands of margarine.

    • Common Uses: margarine production, cosmetics

  • Peanut Oil

    • In the United States, the oil obtained from peanuts is almost clear and has a mild flavor due to the refining process that is used.

    • The Chinese version has more of a peanut taste and aroma.

    • Refined peanut oil has a high smoke point so it is an excellent choice for sautéing and frying. It does not absorb or transfer flavors from food during the cooking process.

    • It is also high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which makes it a healthy oil to use for cooking or as a base for dressings.

    • It will keep for long periods if stored in its original container in a cool, dark place.

    • Peanut oil is also known as groundnut oil and it should be remembered that its use in cooking might cause severe illness in people allergic to peanuts.

    • From: Peanuts

    • Temperatures: Up to 212F for health benefits; can be used much hotter.

    • Health: 22% Omega-6. Note - some are sensitive to irritants in this oil.

    • Common Uses: Stir fry, deep frying, cooking, salad dressings, margarine production

  • Pine Seed Oil

    • Pine seed oil, which is obtained from pine nuts, is one of the most expensive oils on the market, so its appeal is very limited.

    • It is excellent in salads, as a condiment, or to dress freshly cooked vegetables.

    • Common Uses: salad dressings, condiment

  • Poppy Seed Oil

    • Poppy seed oil is a good choice for salad dressings because of its smooth, subtle flavor. It also works well as a condiment, especially for dipping crusty bread. A refined version of the oil has much less flavor than the unrefined.

    • Common Uses: salad dressings, condiment

  • Pumpkin Seed Oil

    • Pumpkin seed oil, which is dark, opaque, and has a thick consistency, is obtained from roasted pumpkin seeds.

    • It has a strong flavor and is best used in combination with milder oils so that it will be suitable for cooking and for salad dressings.

    • It can also be used undiluted to add a distinctive flavor to fish or vegetables.

    • Common Uses: flavoring ingredient, salad dressings

  • Rice Bran Oil

    • Rice bran oil is produced from the rice bran, which is removed from the grain of rice as it is processed.

    • It is considered to be a very healthy alternative as a cooking oil because it is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.

    • Rice bran oil has a somewhat nutty flavor that enhances the taste of foods when used in processing or preparing snack foods, fried foods, and crackers.

    • Common Uses: cooking, flavoring ingredient

  • Safflower Oil

    • The safflower, which is a member of the thistle family, grows to a height of 4 feet and is topped by beautiful yellow, gold, and orange flowers.

    • It does well in arid climates due to its long taproot, which may reach 12 feet in length.

    • The seeds of the safflower are used for the production of safflower oil, which has the highest level of polyunsaturated fat of any edible oil.

    • It is low in saturated fat so it is considered to be a healthy all-purpose oil, however it contains a low level of monounsaturated fat and contains no vitamin E, so it is not as highly regarded nutritionally as many of the other edible oils.

    • Refined safflower oil is excellent for sautéing, pan-frying, and deep-frying because of its very high smoke point.

    • It is also suitable for salad dressings and it can be chilled without solidifying.

    • From: Safflower seeds

    • Temperatures: Use to 212F

    • Health: 79% Omega-6 oils

    • Common Uses: Good for salads dressings and sauces, cooking, margarine production, has a distinctive flavor.

  • Sesame Seed Oil

    • The only steps required to produce unrefined sesame seed oil are crushing the seeds and filtering the resulting oil. The oil is light and has a mild flavor. It is very popular in Middle-Eastern and Indian cooking.

    • Occasionally, the seeds are roasted before crushing to produce a darker oil with an intense, bold flavor.

    • The darker version of sesame seed oil, which is extremely popular in Asian dishes, is most often used as a flavoring ingredient rather than a cooking oil.

    • The strong, rich flavor goes a long way, so only small quantities are necessary to liven up stir-fry dishes and marinades for meat or fish.

    • Blending dark sesame oil with mildly flavored oils will tone down the intense flavor.

    • Sesame seed oil may also be highly refined using heat extraction methods to obtain the oil.

    • The refined oil has much less flavor and aroma than the unrefined oil, but it has a higher smoke point so it is better for high heat cooking methods such as sautéing and pan-frying.

    • Its subtle flavor also makes it a good choice for salad dressings and as a condiment.

    • From: Sesame seeds

    • Temperatures: Up to around 350F

    • Health: Lots of Omega-6 oils plus 49% Omega-9

    • Common Uses: Great for stir frying and for a hint of flavor in marinades

      • Light Oil: cooking, salad dressings

      • Dark Oil : flavoring, marinade

  • Soybean Oil

    • Soybean oil is one the most widely used oils in the manufacture of margarine, vegetable oil, and shortening.

    • It has long been one of the top favorites for use in Chinese cooking.

    • In the United States, soybean oil is highly refined and has a high smoke point, making it a good all-purpose cooking oil.

    • The generic brands of vegetable oil are often 100% soybean oil or they may be a blend of several highly refined oils.

    • Soybean oil is inexpensive and has several healthy attributes including high levels of polyunsaturated (including omega-3 fatty acid) and monounsaturated fats and it is fairly low in saturated fat.

    • Common Uses: cooking, salad dressings, production of vegetable oil, margarine, and shortening

  • Sunflower Seed Oil

    • Although sunflower seeds are popular as a snack, the oil extracted from the seeds is also commonly used.

    • The seeds of the sunflower are obtained from the brown hub in the center of the flower, which has yellow petals surrounding it. The diameter of the flower can reach as large as one foot. The seeds have a tough black and white striped shell, which is often removed for easier consumption of the seeds and for adding the seeds to various recipes.

    • When the seeds are served as a snack, many people prefer to leave the shells on and eat them with the seeds.

    • Sunflower seeds are sold salted or unsalted. Sunflowers are grown in areas of Europe, Russia, and North America.

    • Sunflower seed oil is a light yellow color and has a mild flavor. It is suitable for use as a base for salad dressings or in combination with stronger flavored, more expensive oils that can be used more economically when combined with sunflower oil.

    • It is also used for cooking because like most other refined oils, it has a fairly high smoke point.

    • Although most sunflower oil is obtained through a refining process, there is a small quantity that is now cold pressed rather than refined.

    • Like olive oil, the cold pressed sunflower oil is known as "extra virgin", which also makes it much more expensive than the refined oil.

    • It also has better flavor than the refined version and a greater level of heart-healthy oleic acid.

    • From: Sunflower seeds

    • Temps: Use to 212F

    • Health: 69% Omega-6 oils

    • Common Uses: cooking, salad dressings and sauces, margarine and shortening production

  • Tea Oil

    • An oil made from tea seeds, which are harvested from the tea plant (Camilla sinensis). The seeds are cold-pressed to produce the oil.

    • Pale amber-green in color, tea oil has an herbal aroma with a somewhat sweet flavor.

    • It is high in Vitamin E and other antioxidants, contains no trans-fatty acids, is lower in saturated fat than olive oil, and is non-hydrogenated.

    • It is often used in Asian foods and it can be served as a salad dressing when it is combined with other flavors, such as lemon or lime.

    • It is can be added to cooked vegetables, pasta, and stir-fry recipes. It can also be used as a base for dips, dressings, marinades, and sauces.

    • Tea oil has a high smoke point so it can withstand high heat cooking without burning.

    • Common Uses: cooking, salad dressings, sauces, condiment, marinade

  • Truffle Oil

    • Truffle oil is produced by infusing a high quality oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, with the flavor from truffles (a rare fungus that grows underground).

    • The truffles are soaked in the oil until the flavor is released, resulting in a gourmet oil that is very strong in aroma and flavor.

    • Because of its strength, only a few drops are required to add the earthy truffle flavor to a variety of foods, such as meat, fish, pasta, risotto, salads, and sauces.

    • Truffle oil may lose some of its intense flavor and aroma if it is stored for long periods of time.

    • Common Uses: flavoring ingredient

  • Vegetable Oil

    • Vegetable oil usually consists of a highly refined blend of various oils such as soybean, corn, and sunflower or it may consist of only one type of oil.

    • The label may or may not list the types of oil contained within the blend, so the consumer will often never know exactly what they are purchasing.

    • The refining process usually results in oil that has a high smoke point and a color ranging from almost clear to golden yellow, but with very little taste or aroma.

    • This makes vegetable oil a good all-purpose oil for sautéing, frying, and baking, but it should not be used as a condiment or for salad dressings.

    • Common Uses: cooking, baking

  • Walnut Oil

    • Walnut oil, which is cold pressed from the meat of dried walnuts, has a strong and distinctive walnut flavor.

    • It is generally used as a flavoring for baked goods and for some sauces. It can provide a bold flavor to salad dressings or it can be added to mildly flavored oils to create a subtle taste.

    • It can be used for sautéing and pan-frying, but the high heat will diminish the flavor of the oil and the unrefined version does not have a particularly high smoke point.

    • Walnut oil is expensive and it is usually found in gourmet shops, although some food stores may have a supply (usually a highly refined version with less flavor and a higher smoke point).

    • If it is stored in a cool, dark cupboard, it will remain fresh for as long as 3 months, but it is best to store it in the refrigerator to prevent it from becoming rancid. If refrigeration causes the oil to solidify, it can be restored to a liquid state by leaving it at room temperature for an hour or two.

    • Like other oils obtained from nuts, walnut oil is very popular in French cooking.

    • From: Walnuts

    • Temperatures: use cold

    • Health: 5% Omega-3 oils

    • Common Uses: salad dressings and spreads, flavoring ingredient, condiment, cooking

  • Wheat Germ Oil

    • Wheat germ oil is obtained from the embryo of the wheat kernel.

    • It is a rich source of vitamin E and is often used as a health supplement. It can also be used to create delicious salad dressings and it is surprisingly good when it is added to freshly cooked pasta.

    • Common Uses: salad dressings, condiment, nutritional supplement

Whether you're baking, deep frying or doing any other form of cooking, be sure to use an oil appropriate to that temperature range. If you heat an oil past its smoke-point, it damages the flavor, loses the health benefits and turns the oils into trans fatty acids, which are dangerous.

Four oils which CAN be served hot without great risk of trans fatty acids forming are

  • canola,

  • grapeseed,

  • sunflower and

  • peanut oils.

These will lose their health benefits, but will not become unhealthy.

Stay far away from any oil that is processed and already has trans-fatty-acids, which are extremely unhealthy. Oil you buy should have been made "cold pressed".

Also avoid Hydrogenated oils - margarine and vegetable shortening are two forms of these.

Oils should be stored in dark locations and should be stored in light blocking containers. If you are buying heat-processed oils in clear containers, you are doing your body more harm than good!

Once opened, oils should be stored in the refrigerator until used. The exception to this is olive oil, which can survive opened in cool temperatures. Most oils should be used within a year.


The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer .  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation.  A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions 

Canola Oil
Cooking Oil
Fats and Oils
Saturated Fats
Trans Fat
The Transition

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