Cooking oil is a staple in every kitchen, and one that is not always given much thought. Did you know that what you don’t know CAN hurt you? Let’s dig deeper and learn more about seven of the most common kitchen oils. Discover how they are made, what they are best used for, and their pros and cons.
|Use||How is it Made?||Pros||Cons|
|Canola||Candles, soaps, lipsticks, lubricants, inks, biofuels, insecticides and food||Produced from a genetically modified rapeseed plant||Inexpensive cooking oil used for a wide range of industrial uses; improves cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity||Often GMO, hexane solvent extracted|
|Vegetable||Deep frying, stir frying, sautéing, baked goods||Can be any of rapeseed, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, or other seed oils||Inexpensive and accessible||High amounts of omega-6 fatty acids may increase inflammation; contains trans fats when hydrogenated|
|Avocado||High-heat cooking, salads, frying||Pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit||High smoke point, good raw or cooked; benefits skin health, arthritis and heart health||Expensive, not available in all stores or regions|
|Grapeseed||Deep frying, stir frying, sautéing, baked goods||Pressed from the seeds of the grape plant||High smoke-point; neutral flavor; naturally occurring anti-oxidants; cardio-protective properties||High omega-6 content may contribute to inflammation|
|Olive||Salad dressings, condiment, medium-high heat cooking||Pressed from raw olives||One of the healthiest oils, contains high amounts of antioxidants, as well as a high percentage of monounsaturated fats||Can be expensive, especially if organic and extra-virgin|
|Coconut||High-heat cooking, baking, cosmetics, sunscreens, desserts||Pressed from the white pulp of the coconut often giving it a pearlescent look when solidified||Great for high-heat cooking due to high saturated fat content, widely available, antimicrobial and antifungal properties||Contains a high percentage of saturated fat, expensive, strong flavor that may not work with all foods|
|Sesame||Common Asian and Indian food cooking oil; flavor-enhancer, as well as some industrial and cosmetic uses||Pressed or extracted from dehisced sesame seeds||Contains a moderate amount of vitamin K, inexpensive, nutty flavor/aroma, withstands high heat||Low quality products may be extracted with chemical or high heat extraction methods, may be allergenic for some|
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