When cooking, one of the most important items you will use is oil, whether it is sunflower oil, olive oil, or a blended oil. When you choose your oil, keep in mind that oil behaves differently when it is heated: it changes texture, taste, colour and nutritional values. When oil hits its smoking point, a majority of the nutrients have been destroyed and it can be harmful for you.
Different types of oils have different amounts of fats – Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated and Saturated fats.
Here we take a look at the 5 best cooking oils that are beneficial for your help.
1) Sunflower Oil
Oil extracted from the seeds of sunflowers is known as sunflower oil. It contains a high amount of vitamin E, which makes it great for being used in cooking and cosmetic products. Sunflower oil is high in essential unsaturated fatty acids. However, it does contain around 15% saturated fats so use of this cooking oil in moderation is best.
Sunflower oil is a blend of saturated, monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids. It has a high smoking point, which means that sunflower oil has the ability to hold onto its
nutritional content at higher temperatures, which is likely why this oil is widely used in deep frying chips, samosas and vegetables.
Individuals suffering diabetes need to consume with caution as sunflower oil has been shown in some studies to interfere with some medications to control diabetes.
Smoke point 450°F (232°C)
2) Olive Oil
If you are someone who uses olive oil regularly, you are consuming vitamin D and monounsaturated fats that has been shown in olive oil to lower your risk of heart disease and breast cancer, and that is perchance because of its contents which lowers cholesterol. Olive oil can be used for baking and frying but do not over cook or fry for long periods of time as this oil will lose nutritious content and become more toxic. Olive oil is perfect for drizzling on salads too. Smoke point 465°F ( 240°C)
3) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This oil is derivative from the first pressing of olives and if full of antioxidants as well as polyphenyls; both considered to be good for heart health. It is a darker colour and is less acidic and healthier than
normal olive oil due to the fact it goes through less heating processes. In fact it is cold pressed. It can be used over pastas, in cold dishes and in salads. However, it isn’t suitable to cook with as the smoke point is lower in Extra olive oil than processed olive oils. smoke point ; 350f (176°C)
4) Avocado Oil
Avocado oil has a mildly nutty taste, and is very rich in monounsaturated fats and is a great way to get Vitamin E in our diets. It works well in a dressing, mayonnaise, vinaigrette and it adds a certain mouth-watering element to grilled fish. This is not a cooking oil due to having a lower smoke point but dressing is the healthiest way to eat it.
5) Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is available in two colours. The lighter option is used in India and the Middle East, and is pressed from untoasted seeds. It has a mild flavour and a high smoking point. The darker variety has a distinct nutty aroma and taste and works very well in Asian food as a marinade or in stir fries.
Both types of oils are rich in polyunsaturated fat, but should not be heated for too long. Sesame oil also contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and vitamin B6.
6) Rapeseed oil (Canola)
Rapeseed oil has a high smoke point, contains highest levels of monounsaturated fats in its contents, small amount of saturated fats in lower amounts than other oils and polyunsaturated fats too.
Rapeseed oil contains a healthy ratio of omega 3-6 fatty acids which is better for maintaining healthy cholesterol. This ratio in Rapeseed oil is healthier than in many other oil options. Rapeseed is a cheaper oil to buy in U.K and a reasonably healthy oil to cook with too. This is definitely my preferred go-to cooking oil but not for dressing on salad. This is purely an oil to cook with only.
Smoke point 450f (232°C).
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