Choosing a healthy cooking oil is easier said than done as the market is deluded with cooking oils of all possible types. The simplest way is to choose healthy fats like poly unsaturated or monosaturated fats in your diet in place of unsaturated fats like butter, which is harmful for health.
Here’s a guide for choosing the healthiest cooking oils.
Avocado oil is one of the healthiest cooking oil, one can ask for as it is rich in monosaturated fat and Vitamin E. It has a high smoke point, which makes it a perfect choice for sautéing and stir-frying and has a long shelf life. The smooth and buttery texture of Avocado oil makes it perfect for salad dressing. Avocado oil is one of the few edible oils not derived from seeds as it is sourced from the fleshy pulp of avocado fruit. Avocado oil enhances the absorption of carotenoids and other nutrients and is equally popular as an ingredient in cosmetic items. Avocado oil is rich in beta-sitosterol, which will reduce the risk of developing cancer and heart diseases respectively.
Olive oil is a traditional cooking staple in many cuisines especially in Mediterranean delicacies. It is popular used for sautéing as ingredient in salad dressings and bread dips. Italy, Spain and Turkey are the largest importers of olive oil. It is available in various varieties like virgin and refined.
Also known as linseed oil, it is derived by cold-pressing flaxseeds, Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, it is a healthy and popular choice for salad dressings, dips and smoothies as it has a low smoke point, which makes it unsuitable for frying or sautéing. It has quite a short shelf life of only a few weeks even under refrigerated conditions.
Coconut oil is a popular cooking medium in many countries around the world for its rich aroma and high smoke point. It makes a veritable ingredient in tropical dishes and the oil that is extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts give out a unique flavor and taste to the dishes. Coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat and a natural source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are not stored as fat but quickly absorbed by your body to deliver energy. Coconut oil has an impressive shelf life of over 2 years and are available in Virgin and refined forms.
Canola oil is a good medium for baking and sautéing thanks to its neutral flavor and high smoke point. As it is offered in a highly refined form it may not have many antioxidants like Avocado or olive oil. It has a long shelf life. Canola oil can be fixed with virgin olive oil in 1:1 ratio when making salad dressing as it neutralizes the strong flavor of Olive oil
The rich nutty flavor and the natural goodness of Omega 3 fatty acids will make walnut oil the trusted choice of the health watchers though it is pricey. It has a relatively short shelf life of over 3 months.
Image courtesy: avocadoglobal.com