These days one is really spoilt for choices as far as choosing a healthy option for cooking oil. For cooking oil, you have to be very careful about its smoke point because if you heat the oil beyond the smoke point it not only harms the flavour but also degrades the nutrients in the oil and well releases certain harmful compounds like free radicals.
1. Olive Oil
One of the most healthy and versatile cooking oils as per Nutrition and Cooking experts. The “Extra Virgin” label tells you that the oil is neither refined nor overly processed and hence of high quality.
Extra Virgin Oil is full of monounsaturated fats and some polyunsaturated fatty acids which have been linked to better heart health.
Olive Oil has a low smoke point comparatively and is considered to be good for low and medium-heat cooking. It can also be used as a dressing. It is widely accepted as a healthy cooking medium.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, being a mainly saturated fat, is able to withstand higher temperatures than other oils. This quality alone makes it one of the best oils for cooking. It also has a delicious taste that further enhances the taste of your food and gives a superb texture to foods. Use organic extra-virgin coconut oil for the best quality.
3. Canola Oil.
Canola Oil is derived from rapeseed, a flowering plant, and contains a good amount of monounsaturated fats and a decent amount of polyunsaturated fats. One thing heavily in favour of Canola Oil is that it has the least amount of saturated fats. It has a high smoke point which means it can be used in high-heat cooking.
Canola Oil is generally highly processed and therefore devoid of nutrients.
Cold-pressed or unprocessed canola is available but difficult to source.`
4. Avocado Oil.
Another super-tech choice is Avocado Oil because like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, this too is an unrefined oil full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids rather it has the highest mono-saturated contents among all cooking oils. Unlike Extra Virgin Oil it has a higher smoking point thus favouring high-heat cooking. Avocado Oil has no flavour, making it a good cooking option.
The one thing that goes against this oil is that it is highly expensive.
5. Safflower Oil.
As the name suggests Safflower Oil is derived from the seeds of the Safflower plant. It contains a higher percentage of unsaturated fatty acids while it is low in saturated fats. It has a higher smoking point comparatively. The use of safflower oil daily, as per a study, may reduce inflammation, and manage blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels among postmenopausal women with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
It has a neutral flavour that works well for BBQ, frying on the stovetop, and even in some marinades, dips, and sauces.
By Sunil Malhotra