There are plenty of cooking oils choose from, but selecting which cooking oil is the best fit when it comes to your health is rather challenging.
Considering the factors from smoke point to flavor and to nutritional content, here’s a list of top 8 healthy cooking oils you need for healthy heart.
- Grapeseed Oil
Good source of both polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E, which can improve skin health, immune function and the prevention of oxidative damage to the cell. With a smoke point of 216℃, the best ways to use is by mixing it with salad dressings, dips or baked goods and sautee.
- Coconut Oil
Great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fatty acid. This saturated fatty acid in coconut oil have been shown to enhance metabolism, increase satiety and boost brain function. With a smoke point of 177℃, it can be used for normal cooking or even used as natural skin care product.
- Avocado Oil
High in monounsaturated fats that benefits our heart and has one of the highest smoke points of all cooking oils (271℃), making it one of the most versatile oil. You can use avocado oil for all cooking and baking, and or even as spread.
- Sesame Oil
Extracted from sesame seed that is loaded with a good mix of both mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Sesame oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may also help decrease levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Smoke point of 210℃, it is best used as a finishing oil to add flavor. This oil works especially well with meat, poultry, noodle and rice dishes.
- Rice Bran Oil
Extracted from the outer bran or husk of rice, it is also a great source of poly- and mono-unsaturated fats (the “good fats”). Studies have shown that these unsaturated fats can improve blood cholesterol levels, and to decrease risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Its high smoke point of 232 °C and mild flavor, making it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying.
- Flaxseed Oil
An excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, a form of omega-3 fatty acids. It is a type of polyunsaturated fat that may lower our risk for cancer and may help reduce symptoms of arthritis. With a relatively low smoke point of 107℃, it’s best used as salad dressings and drizzling.
- Walnut Oil
Also rich in omega-3 fatty acid that can improve heart health and decrease inflammation; omega-3 fatty acids in walnut oil can also promote brain function and aid in proper growth and development. With a smoke point of 160℃, the unique flavor of walnut oil taste great when is drizzled over grilled fruits, veggies, potatoes or poultry dishes.
- Canola Oil
Its high smoke point (204℃) and neutral flavor makes it an excellent for frying, roasting and baking. Canola oil has only 7% saturated fat and is high in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat that helps improve heart health.
Selecting the best cooking oil depends on which method of cooking you’re using and what recipe you are making. These healthy cooking oils may boost our heart health in many ways if used in moderate amount, so try mixing these oils to enjoy the potential benefits. Lastly, highly processed vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats should be avoided to minimize the potential adverse effects on health.
Tips for cooking with Healthy Oils:
- The healthier oils listed here are generally safe for most home-cooking uses, including higher temperature cooking such as stir-frying and pan frying.
- If oil smells bad, don’t use it.
- Oil can become oxidized or rancid when stored too long. You should get rid of it.
- Don’t reuse or reheat any cooking oil.
- Store them in a dark, cool place to keep them fresh longer.
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)
[Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics (major) &
Food Science (minor) lowa State University, USA]