People often get confused about what oils to use when cooking. So here is my simple guide explaining which oils you should use when!
Plant oils should not be used for cooking
Plant oils become unstable when they are heated to high temperatures. This causes oxidation of the oil, which in simple terms means ‘damaged oil’.
When we consume oxidised oils on a regular basis it can be harmful to our health. Oxidised oils essentially ‘clog up’ blood vessels causing them to narrow. Narrowing causes decreased blood flow to areas of the body.
This process is linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and much more.
Oils to cook with
The following oils remain more stable at higher cooking temperatures, therefore they are preferable to use.
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Canola oil
Also opt for oils that are cold pressed as this minimises any damage to the oil during processing.
Oils to use in cold recipes
Pretty much all plant oils are perfect to use in cold recipes or as a garnish. The following oils are very sensitive to heat and light and can be damaged very easily.
Keeping these oils in dark bottles in the fridge will minimise oxidation.
- Sunflower oil
- Sesame oil
- Peanut oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Walnut oil
In my opinion, 1 calorie oil sprays should also be avoided. These are often cheap plant oils and they are prone to oxidation. Rather than focusing on calories, focus on nutrients. Coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil have so many benefits to our health, please don’t avoid them because they are high in calories – this alone does not make them ‘bad’.
Frying is a convenient way of cooking, but unfortunately it is one of the most damaging. This is because food is heated to a high temperature very quickly. Therefore, I advise avoiding frying foods and opting for baking at lower temperatures, lightly steaming and boiling.
If you want to make something like a stir-fry, cook the veggies down in water, let them cool down, and then add in your oil of choice. This tastes amazing and allows the oil to remain stable, giving you many health benefits!
Thank you for reading What is the deal with cooking oils. I hope this was useful and helps you to adapt your cooking! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!