Experiment with Cooking Oils!
When I was growing up, I only remember my mom buying cooking vegetable oil. Although vegetable oil cooking mainly consists of polyunsaturated fats, which is good!, there are a lot of other cooking oil types that should be explored. Now that I’ve been eating/cooking with a focus on my health, I usually use extra virgin olive oil… for everything! So now I figure it’s time to start expanding my oil knowledge in order to find just the right oil for each and every food that I eat/cook. Below are some of the basics, which is a great start. As I begin to use different oils, I will add more information as well as more tips, so stay tuned! Remember, healthy cooking oilsare a great addition to your everyday diet!
What is Cooking Oil?
Cooking oil is derived from plants. It’s really that simple. Of course, there’s a process of cooking and blending, etc. in order to get to the final result of the actual cooking oil, but the what’s important to know is the fact that cooking oil are plant-based, which is a good thing! Cooking Oil Fats Monounsaturated Fats – Unsaturated. Helps to decrease the amount of cholesterol. Enjoy this heart healthy oil! Polyunsaturated Fats – Unsaturated. Helps to decrease the amount of cholesterol. Enjoy this heart healthy oil! Saturated Fats – Turn solid at room temperature. Try to avoid or consume as little as possible. Trans Fats – Avoid!
What is a Smoking Point?
The smoking point of an oil simply refers to the temperature at which the oil will start to smoke. When an oil starts to smoke, this means that the fat’s are starting to break down. This breakdown starts to change the molecular structure, which means free radicals are being produced (not good!). High Smoking Point – browning, deep-frying, searing Medium-High Smoking Point -baking, stir-fry, sauces Medium Smoking Point – sauces, light sautéing, low-heat baking
Sunflower Cooking Oil
A great oil for frying due to its light taste as well as its heart healthy benefits. Smoking Point – High – @ 475° Monounsaturated Fats = 79% Polyunsaturated = 7% Saturated Fats = 14%
Soybean Cooking Oil
A great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Smoking Point – High – @ 450° Monounsaturated Fats = 25% Polyunsaturated = 60% Saturated Fats = 15%
Canola Cooking Oil
Considered to be one of the healthiest cooking oils out there as it is known for its heart healthy benefits. Smoking Point – Medium-High – @ 400° Monounsaturated Fats = 62% Polyunsaturated = 31% Saturated Fats = 7%
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cooking with olive oil is a great idea due to its taste as well as its numerous health benefits. Smoking Point – Medium-High – @ 320° Monounsaturated Fats = 78% Polyunsaturated = 8% Saturated Fats = 14%
No Cooking Oils
Oils that aren’t used for cooking. These oils are considered to be healthy and can be used for dressing, marinades, and dips.
Monounsaturated Fats = 65% Polyunsaturated = 28% Saturated Fats = 7%
Wheat Germ Oil
Monounsaturated Fats = 65% Polyunsaturated = 18% Saturated Fats = 17%
Cooking Oil Tips:
-Store oils in a dark, cool place. Shelf life ranges from 6 months to 1 year. -Splurge on oils that you’ll be eating as a dressing, dipping, etc. You’ll want to taste the delicious flavor of your favorite non-cooking oil! -You can use leftover oil for another 5 or 6 times. Simply strain and store in the fridge. -There are many different brands to try, so make sure you experiment in order to find the one(s) that works best for you!