Cooking at home is the best choice if you wish to lead a healthier life. But are you aware of the cooking oil you are using daily: is it suitable for the foods you cook and types of cooking? Are there better alternatives?
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K 25 Nov 2021.
6 Cooking Oils: Which One To Buy And To Avoid?
Extra-virgin olive oil is a pantry necessity when it comes to heart health. However, you’ll see a new crop of trendy oils in farmers’ markets, specialist grocery shops, and on your gourmet friend’s shelf. So, what are the new options, and how do they stack up against your go-to heart-healthy choice? Here’s a video that explains everything.
First and foremost, follow your doctor’s instructions. Fat is necessary for your body, although it is high in calories (9 calories per gram), and certain fats are healthier than others. But you might even consume the “healthy" fats in an excessive amount. Your doctor or a certified dietician can advise you on the appropriate limits to follow.
Also, keep in mind that each oil has a different chemical composition, so some will be better for sautéing, while others will be better for no-heat preparations like salad dressings. Remember an oil’s smoke point while cooking; this is the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke and emits harmful odours and free radicals. The higher the smoke point, the more refined the oil is.
Almond oil is tasty and often low in saturated fat if you seek a unique, nutty taste to add to a dish. According to recent research, eating a diet high in almonds may help lower blood pressure.
Almond oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for searing and browning and dressing salads.
Avocados may help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the same way as olive oil does.
Avocados are high in magnesium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and potassium, which helps reduce the effects of salt in the body. However, it’s unclear if the same holds for avocado oil.
Cooking Tip: Because this oil has a high smoke point, it’s ideal for sears, browning, and salads.
Although it lacks the blood pressure-lowering omega-3 found in extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil has one of the lowest saturated fat content. As a result, it may be a suitable option for improving your heart health.
Cooking Tip: The smoke point of this oil is medium-high. It’s excellent for baking, baking in the oven, and stir-frying.
The buzz about this tasty, trending oil is that it may have disease-preventive characteristics. Still, those with high blood pressure should be cautious: This oil has the most impressive saturated fat content. It’s easy to be swayed by a delicious taste boost, but too much saturated fat is terrible for your heart. Stick to nontropical, conventional vegetable oils. Olive and canola oil are superior choices.
Use coconut oil sparingly for light sautéing, low-heat baking, and sauces if you want to give it a try. It has a relatively high smoke point.
Walnuts, pumpkins, pecans, and other nutty oils have begun to appear on fine dining menus and even supermarket shelves. They’re all high in healthy fats, which are suitable for your heart and may help you decrease your blood pressure.
Cooking Tip: These are no-heat oils that are not recommended for use in the kitchen. In dressings, use them sparingly.
Flaxseed and Wheat Germ Oils
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in these seed-based oils, which may decrease blood pressure.
Cooking Tip: Because these oils do not need heat, they are ideal for salad dressings and dips. Just keep an eye on your servings.
There are so many cooking oils that you can choose from. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but take some time to do your research. When in doubt, seek professional help from a registered nutritionist or dietician.
- Cleveland Clinic: “Heart Healthy Cooking: Oils 101,” “Olive Oil vs Coconut Oil: Which is Heart-healthier?”
- American Heart Association: “Fats 101 Q&A,” “Potassium and High Blood Pressure.”
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Magnesium.”
- News release, King’s College London.
- Psaltopoulou, T. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2004.
- Ros, E. Nutrients, July 2010.
- Salazar, M. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, April 26, 2005.
- News release, American Heart Association.
- Bakhtin, I. Vopr Pitan, 2006.
- Nurul-Iman, B. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.