Have you ever wandered across the different cooking oil options at a grocery store? There are plenty of options available for sautéing, drizzling, and baking. Do you need extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil? Selecting the right oil for cooking and health is confusing? It also comes down to the nutritive value. We have shared some of the healthiest oils for frying to help you with cooking. Let’s get started:
Tips for Choosing a Cooking Oil:
Here are some tips shared below to help you choose the best healthiest oil for frying and cooking.
Check the smoke point
The smoke point is the temperature at which you can cook before it starts burning to produce smoke. This not only affects the taste but also destroys the nutrients. Furthermore, harmful compounds also form known as free radicals in this.
Select Unrefined Oils
Select a cooking oil that is less processed. This is because refined oils have chemicals that turn oil rancid and produce trans fat in the process. This is shared by Harvard University professor of nutrition Guy Crosby.
Read the label
As per the American Heart Association, you must select a cooking oil having less than 4 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. It should also have no trans fats and hydrogenated oils.
Select according to the Taste All the oils have a distinct taste. You need to select the flavor that is tasty for your taste buds. Neutral oils are better for heating whereas strongly flavored oils are a good option for dressings and cold dishes.
Here are 7 healthiest cooking oils that you can select for your everyday cooking:
1. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: The Best & Healthiest Oils for Cooking
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is a gold standard as far as healthy cooking oil fat is concerned. It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. When purchasing extra-virgin olive oil, select a bottle that says “unrefined” and “cold-pressed.” That’s because it means that the oil was produced without heat which otherwise degrades the product.
It has a smoke point of 350°F. It tastes from mild to peppery and grassy in taste. Use it for low to medium heat cooking, baking, and salad dressings. It has 119 calories, 1.9 grams of saturated fat, and 9.8 grams of monounsaturated fat. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is the best and healthiest oils for frying and cooking.
2. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is similar to olive oil in nutritive benefits. It contains vitamin E and fatty acids. Use it similar to olive oil but look for minimally processed variety when buying. It contains 124 calories, 1.6 grams of saturated fat, and 9.8 grams of monounsaturated fat.
3. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is rich in Vitamin E and is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega- fatty acid. It also has a low smoke point. However, this is not as versatile as the other cooking oils. You can use it for cold applications such as salads etc. You can also store it in the fridge for longer life. This oil contains 120 calories, 1.2 grams saturated fat, and 9 grams polyunsaturated fat. Choose a virgin flaxseed oil. It is also one of the healthiest oil for frying.
4. Sesame Oil: Healthiest Oil for Frying
Sesame oil is rich in sesamol and sesamol, the two antioxidants that offer protection against heart cell damage. This oil is also extremely versatile and can be used similarly to canola oil. However, this is separate from the toasted sesame oil that is used as a garnish. The smoke point is 410°F. It contains 120 calories, 1.9 grams saturated fat, 6 grams polyunsaturated fat. Look for the unrefined and cold-pressed versions. Best used for sauteing, roasting, and general-purpose cooking.
5. Canola Oil: One of the Healthiest Oil for Frying
Canola oil has a smoke point of 400°F. It has a neutral flavor and is quite versatile for medium-heat cooking. The oil is low in saturated fats and has a lot of omega-3s. Dr.Crosby suggests it as a healthy choice even though it is expensive. The oil contains 120 calories, with 1.1 grams saturated fat and 2.6 grams of polyunsaturated fat. Best used for medium to medium-high heat cooking and baking. Canola oil is surely one of the best oils to cook with and is the best oil for frying.
6. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil also has a neutral flavor with a high smoke point at 420°F. Check the expeller-pressed when buying grapeseed oil and avoid the one which mentions the use of hexane. The neutral flavor makes this oil a versatile option for your kitchen. It also comes with vitamin E and omegas 3,6 and 9. This is also an expensive option compared to the other cooking oil options. After all, it is extracted from the tiny grape seeds. Grapeseed oil is one of the healthiest oil to cook with.
Ghee is not an oil, since it is more of a clarified form of butter. However, it is quite tasty and therefore included in the list. It offers vitamin E, A, and antioxidants which are not found in milk and butter. This also makes it easy to digest lactose intolerant stomachs. However, it has 112 calories, 8 grams saturated fat and 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat. This means that you must use moderation. It tastes like butter and can be easily used for cooking at high temperatures and baking applications. After all, it has a smoke point of 485°F.
You can choose any of the above-mentioned cooking oils for the best results.