Choosing the right kind of cooking oil can be a nightmare for people looking to monitor their fat levels. With so many different oils to choose from, and so much conflicting advice on what kind of oils to choose, it can be particularly difficult to know what kind of cooking oil is right for you. Replacing bad fats (saturated and trans) with healthier fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) is good for you. One way you can do this is by choosing healthier non tropical vegetable oils for cooking and preparing food. Use these oils instead of solid fats (including butter, shortening, lard and hard stick margarine) and tropical oils (including palm and coconut oil), which can have a lot of saturated fat. While there are some cooking oils where opinion is split, there are also several inarguable truths about some great oils, and some not so great oils. So let’s have a look at some of the best…and some of the worst.
The Best – Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the few undisputed kings of the cooking oil market. With a smoke point of somewhere between 375 and 470 degrees, olive oil is not always perfect for high heat cooking, but its health benefits cannot be overstated. Olive oil is packed full of antioxidants that have proven health benefits, and with a number of varieties, buyers can ensure they choose an extra virgin olive oil that is entirely unrefined. Olive oil has a high ratio of monounsaturated fat to polyunsaturated fat, making it great for fat levels.
The Very Good – Avocado Oil
Avocados are slowly being recognized as something of a superfood, so it’s not surprising to see that avocado oil is among the best in show. With a smoke point of 400 degrees, avocado oil is full of vitamin E, a vitamin that is heavily linked to boosting the immune system. Avocado oil is also not too far behind olive oil in terms of its monounsaturated fat ratio.
The Not So Good – Corn Oil
Corn oil is made from the most inner part of the corn grain, and it has a monounsaturated fat to polyunsaturated fat ratio of around 1 : 2.5. Compare this to the ratio in Olive oil of roughly 8 : 1 and you can clearly see the difference. Corn oil also has an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio that is more than 10 times greater than the ideal. All of this adds up to corn oil being a bad choice for cooking.
The Worst – Vegetable Oil
Generally made from soybeans, vegetable oil is usually the cheapest cooking oil you can find…and with very good reason. Vegetable oil is heavily refined, has terrible fat ratios and is more often than not used in heavily processed foods like snacks or potato chips. If you’re looking to keep an eye on your fat levels, you should stay well clear of vegetable oil.