The Healthiest Cooking Oils to Add To Your Pantry in 2017
When looking for a healthy oil to cook with, it’s good to do some research because there are so many to choose from. This post will help you know more about the healthiest oils you should add in your pantry this year.
It’s important to remember that every oil has a different set of qualities that suit different purposes. Yes, olive oil is healthy, but you shouldn’t be using it for all your cooking needs. Some oils are great for frying while others are better for sautéing.
5 Healthiest Oils for Cooking
When choosing an oil you should first understand what your recipe requires. For instance—an oil used in baking should have a neutral flavor, whereas an oil for sautéing should be flavorful and have a low smoke point. You may also want to choose an oil based on your dietary requirements.
You should also keep in mind that although healthy cooking oils contain “good fats” they’re still fats. Whether you choose olive oil or avocado oil, oils are high in calories, and if you’re watching your weight or trying to eat healthy you should aim only for moderate use of oil in cooking. You should also choose “cold-pressed” oils that retain the flavor, aroma and nutrients that would otherwise be lost due to heat during processing.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is the clear winner when it comes to the healthiest oils for cooking. Known for its heart-healthy benefits, it is one of the main components of the world’s healthiest diet—the Mediterranean diet.
Research shows olive oil raises HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol in your bloodstream. Buy extra virgin olive oil as it contains more nutrients and antioxidants than regular olive oil. Olive oil is fairly resistant to heat, making it a great option for sautéing, but not frying. It’s quite flavorful so add it to your salad dressings.
Make sure to choose quality extra virgin olive oil. It has more nutrients and antioxidants than the regular olive oil and tastes much better.
2. Canola oil
Canola oil gets a bad rap for being unhealthy—probably because it’s commonly associated with fried foods. But the reason why foods are fried in canola oil is because it has a high smoke point of 400 degrees F and a neutral flavor.
The truth is despite being chemically processed, canola oil is a healthier choice than other vegetable oils. It’s low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, making it great for frying, baking and roasting.
Canola oil contains more omega-3s than most other plant oils. It is made of mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (healthy fats)—the same fats found in olive oil.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is very resistant to heat, making it a great choice for high heat cooking.
Coconut oil boasts of many health benefits. It is rich in lauric acid, a fatty acid that improves cholesterol and protects against bacteria and other germs. Coconut oil is also a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight as the fats present in it can boost metabolism and keep you feeling full after a meal.
4. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil, like coconut oil, is a favorite among the clean-eating community. While more expensive than processed oils, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a healthy cooking oil with a high smoke point.
It is low in saturated fat and full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Its neutral flavor, combined with its high smoke point, makes it great for all your cooking needs.
5. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is packed with omega-3s, making it a great cooking oil for people suffering from high blood pressure. Research shows daily use of flaxseed oil can lower blood pressure and offer heart-healthy benefits.
Flaxseed oil is best used for low-temperature applications so add it to sauces and salad dressings.
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