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.

UseHow is it Made?ProsCons
CanolaCandles, soaps, lipsticks, lubricants, inks, biofuels, insecticides and foodProduced 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

VegetableDeep 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
AvocadoHigh-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
GrapeseedDeep 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
OliveSalad 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
CoconutHigh-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.
SesameMost 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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