Cooking with Healthy Oils

We use oils every day in dressings, baking, cooking vegetables and proteins, and many more.

Oils are fats, which are essential to our overall health because they are needed to synthesize hormones and absorb nutrients.

Every type of oil has a different “smoke point” which is the temperature the oil will start to smoke. If the oil is smoking, then the minerals in the oil will start to break down and oxidize creating harmful free radicals. It also will not help the flavor of the food.

There are two main types of oil: refined (processed) and unrefined (cold pressed). Refined oils are heated during production and often processed with chemicals to increase the shelf like and smoke points. Many of the healthy nutrients are lost during the processing. Unrefined oils are very flavorful and higher in nutrients and minerals but have lower smoke points and shorter shelf lives. They are denser and break down at lower temperatures.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

· Unrefined, cold-pressed

· High in vitamin E and antioxidants

· Anti-inflammatory

· Improves HDL:LDL ratio

· Smoke point of 325-375 degrees F

· Should use for salad dressings, dips, low-temp recipes

Pure or Light Olive Oil

· Although it says pure it is misleading as it is still processed and refined in order to increase shelf life.

· Smoke point is 465 degrees F

· The processing already strips the oils of the antioxidants and vitamins.

· This type of oil will not break down as quickly as extra-virgin olive oil and should be used for high temperature cooking.

Coconut Oil

· Oil extracted from coconut meat

· The oil is mostly solid at room temperature and will melt around 75 degrees.

· Smoke point 350 degrees F

· Great for baking and adding a sweet and tropical flavor

· Can even add it into your beauty routine

Avocado Oil

· Cold-pressed, unrefined

· Very versatile

· Smoke point 520 degrees F

· Enhances flavors

· Can be expensive

· Use for searing, grilling, roasting, baking, and salad dressings

Flax Oil

· Unrefined flax oil should not be used in cooking as it has a low smoke point

· Great source of omega-3

· Can use in dressings, salads, drizzle over foods, sauces, and smoothies

· Smoke point 225 degrees F

Sunflower Oil

- High in vitamin E and low in saturated fats

- Smoke point of 440 degrees F

- Use for pan frying, sautéing, roasting, grilling, baking, salad dressing

- Mild flavor

Sesame Oil

- Very strong flavor

- Smoke point is 410 degrees F

- Great for Asian recipes!

- High smoke point so great for cooking

Almond Oil

- Smoke point 430 degrees F

- Use for searing, grilling, roasting, baking, and salad dressings


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