When it comes to high heat cooking, coconut oil is your best choice.
Over 90% of the fatty acids in it are saturated, which makes it very resistant to heat.
This oil is semi-solid at room temperature and it can last for months and years without going rancid.
Coconut oil also has powerful health benefits. It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens.
The fats in coconut oil can also boost metabolism slightly and increase feelings of fullness compared to other fats. It is the only cooking oil that made it to my list of superfoods.
Fatty Acid Breakdown:
Make sure to choose virgin coconut oil. It’s organic, it tastes good and it has powerful health benefits.
The saturated fats used to be considered unhealthy, but new studies prove that they are totally harmless. Saturated fats are a safe source of energy for humans.
Olive oil is well known for its heart healthy effects and is believed to be a key reason for the health benefits of the mediterranean diet.
Some studies show that olive oil can improve biomarkers of health.
It can raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and lower the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream.
Fatty Acid Breakdown:
Studies on olive oil show that despite having fatty acids with double bonds, you can still use it for cooking as it is fairly resistant to the heat.
Make sure to choose quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has much more nutrients and antioxidants than the refined type. Plus it tastes much better.
Keep your olive oil in a cool, dry, dark place, to prevent it from going rancid.
The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil. It is primarily monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated mixed in.
It can be used for many of the same purposes as olive oil. You can cook with it, or use it cold.
Fish oil is very rich in the animal form of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are DHA and EPA. A tablespoon of fish oil can satisfy your daily need for these very important fatty acids.
The best fish oil is cod fish liver oil, because it is also rich in Vitamin D3, which a large part of the world is deficient in.
However, due to its high concentration of polyunsaturated fats, fish oil should never be used for cooking. It’s best used as a supplement, one tablespoon per day. Keep in a cool, dry and dark place.
Flax oil contains lots of the plant form of Omega-3, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA).
Many people use this oil to supplement with Omega-3 fats.
However, unless you’re vegan, then I do recommend that you use fish oil instead.
Evidence shows that the human body doesn’t efficiently convert ALA to the active forms, EPA and DHA, of which fish oil has plenty.
Due to the large amount of polyunsaturated fats, flax seed oil should NOT be used for cooking.
Avoid all of them:
- Soybean Oil
- Corn Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Canola Oil
- Rapeseed Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Rice Bran Oil
Remember, the oils above are golden, but one oil you might want to keep out of the frying pan is sunflower. A British investigation found that this oil from the sun-worshiping plant produced aldehydes, potentially cancer-causing compounds, at levels 20 times higher than that recommended by the World Health Organization in response to heating.
Corn oil was also found to possess disturbing amounts of aldehydes, whereas olive oil, canola oil, butter, and even goose fat produced far fewer aldehydes when heated. While there is no published data linking sunflower oil to an increased risk of cancer risk, you may want to limit its use when cooking.
How to Take Care of Your Cooking Oils
To make sure that your fats and oils don’t go rancid, it is important to keep a few things in mind.
Don’t buy large batches at a time. Buy smaller ones, that way you will most likely use them before they get the chance to damage.
When it comes to unsaturated fats like olive, palm, avocado oil and some others, it is important to keep them in an environment where they are less likely to oxidize and go rancid.
The main drivers behind oxidative damage of cooking oils are heat, oxygen and light.
Therefore, keep them in a cool, dry, dark place and make sure to screw the lid on as soon as you’re done using them.