Which oil should you cook with? Do we really know or are we just responding to the latest trends?
What you cook or place in the oil is far more important than the oil. That being said, there is evidence to support olive oil as the preferred oil and vegetable oil as that to be avoided. Make sure you choose olive oil that is labeled “extra virgin.” This means that it is minimally processed. Vegetable oil is typically highly processed and breaks down at high temperatures, releasing toxic particles.
Oils that are “hydrogenated” should always be avoided because hydrogenated means trans-fat. These fats or oils are not found in nature and increase risk of heart disease. Hydrogenated oils include:
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
Olive oil is the best, but coconut oil is also a good choice since it remains stable at higher heat. You can also substitute oil for grass-fed, organic butter. The oil you choose also depends on which taste you prefer. Coconut oil can be substituted in most recipes that call for vegetable oil.
Whatever oil you use, remember that the underlying food is more important. And, use all oils sparingly as they are very calorie dense.
Here’s a great infographic for more information on the healthiest and least healthy oil options.