Oils are the basis for many favorite recipes and play a major part in various cooking techniques, from sautéing and frying to roasting and baking.
Oil is a very important factor when it comes to health. The oil you use effects your health your metabolism and many other factors.
There are plenty of options when it comes to cooking oil. But all of them do not benefit you. So there we present some of the best oil for cooking.
1. Extra virgin olive oil
Nutrition and cooking experts agree that one of the most versatile and healthy oils to cook with and eat is olive oil, as long as it’s extra virgin. An “extra virgin” label means that the olive oil is not refined, and therefore of high quality. It's high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and a quality bottle can truly take you on a taste bud adventure.
But olive oil has a relatively lower smoke point compared to other oils, so it’s best for low and medium-heat cooking.
2. Light olive oil
Light olive oil has a far higher smoke point of about 470ºF (243ºC). Therefore, it’s more ideal for high-temperature cooking, like sautéing, roasting, and grilling.
Avocado oil is chock-full of healthy monounsaturated fats. It’s unrefined like extra virgin olive oil, but it has a higher smoking point, which means it can be used to cook at higher heat and is great for stir-frys. Avocado oil boosts the highest known smoke point of any plant oil — 520ºF (271ºC) for refined and up to 480ºF (249ºC) for unrefined.
4. Canola oil and other vegetable oils
Canola oil is derived from rapeseed, a flowering plant while other vegetable oils come from a blend of vegetables. It contains a good amount of monounsaturated fats and a decent amount of polyunsaturated fats.
Of all vegetable oils, canola oil tends to have the least amount of saturated fats.
Canola oil's high smoke point (400 degrees F) and neutral flavor make it an excellent vehicle for frying.
5. Peanut oil
Peanut oil has one of the highest monounsaturated fat contents among cooking oils. The refined variety, with a smoke point of 450ºF (232ºC), is wonderfully conducive to high-temperature stir-frying.
Unrefined peanut oil, on the other hand, has a smoke point of 320ºF (160ºC).
6. Sunflower oil
This oil is high in vitamin E; one tablespoon contains 28% of a person’s daily recommended intake of the nutrient. It has a high smoke point and doesn’t have a strong flavor, which means it won’t overwhelm a dish. However, sunflower oil contains a lot of omega-6 fatty acids. The body needs them, but omega-6s are thought to be pro-inflammatory, while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. Consuming too many omega-6s without balancing with omega 3s, could lead to excess inflammation in the body, so moderation is key.
7. Sesame oil
This oil is often used for its potent flavor; a little goes a long way. With plenty of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, it rivals olive oil as a healthy choice for cooking. It has a higher smoke point and can be used for high-heat recipes.
A mid-range smoke point of anywhere from 350 to 400ºF (177 to 204ºC) means it can be used in stir-frying and sautéing as well as adding flavor as a condiment.