Cooking oil is a staple in every kitchen, and one that is not often given much thought. What you don’t know CAN hurt you! Let’s dig deeper and learn more about seven of the most common oils. Discover how the oils are made, what they are used for, 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||Cheap, wide range of industrial uses||Unhealthy - can damage kidneys, liver, and heart; can lead to hypertension, may retard growth|
|Vegetable||Deep frying, stir frying, sautéing, baked goods||Can be any of rapeseed, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, or other seed oils||Cheap and accessible||High amounts of omega-6 fatty acids that 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 rock hard seeds of the grape plant||Higher proportion of healthier omega-6 fats||Can increase inflammation, cholesterol, weight gain and hormonal imbalance|
|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 its high percentage of saturated fat. Becoming widely available. Has antimicrobial and antifungal properties.||Contains a high percentage of saturated fat. Can be expensive. Has a specific flavor that may not work with all foods.|
|Sesame||Most common oil for cooking in India and Asian countries. 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 people|
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