Oils are considered as the most integral part of our recipes. Imagine all the delicious fries, curries and pasta without oils. Quite impossible right? But did you know that all oils are not applicable to be certified as cooking oils as some of them go past their respective smoking points and instead of enriching the flavour of foods, they cause damage to our system?
Then you might wonder what will be best cooking oils then. Well, do not worry anymore because we bring to you the healthiest and the best cooking oils that will not only boost the taste of your dish but will also provide certain health benefits for our body.
So without much ado, let us begin our trail about the best oil for cooking.
What is the best oil for cooking that you should use?
Oil plays a major role in our recipes be it sauteing, frying, roasting or baking. It helps to blend all the flavours of the dish and augment it further.
As we were stating before that all oils cannot be classified as cooking oils since some of them reach their smoking point too quickly. Now you may ask, what is a smoking point? Well, for oil, the smoking point is the temperature at which the oil begins to burn up. If the oil is heated further than this temperature, it will not only degrade the flavours of the dish but will harm our body if we consume it. The oil starts releasing harmful compounds known as free radicals which cause serious damage to our system.
Apart from the smoking point, cooking oils are also categorised on points like:
- The ingredient from where it is extracted
- Processing methods
- Fat content in the oil
- Effects it produces in the body
Now keeping all the points in mind, making your work easier we bring to you some of the best oils for cooking.
1.Extra Virgin Olive Oil
One of the most popular oils to be used in cooking is the extra virgin olive oil. According to a study conducted by a leading medical centre, it stated that extra virgin olive oil due to being abundant in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants was able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments. This oil is considered a healthy fat and many studies have also shown that due to its high antioxidant content, it can also effectively prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Olive oil can only be extra virgin only when the olives are cold-pressed. Cold-pressed is a process in which the olives are not allowed to exceed a certain temperature during the extraction process.
This process ensures the highest quality for the oil made. Certain precautions are also taken during the harvesting process as only unripe olives are chosen for the extraction process. This is done to make the oil richer in polyphenols and antioxidants.
Extra virgin olive oil has a smoking point of 325-375°F and is best used for salad dressings and sauteing. However, if you want to include olive oil more in your diet, you can use the light variant of olive oil which has a smoking point of 470°F and can be abundantly used for high flame cooking.
- Avocado oil
Avocado is famed worldwide for its nutritional properties and no exception is present for oil extracted from this multifaceted fruit. Although one of the newest entrants on the oil block, it has already skyrocketed in the popularity charts for its abundant medicinal and health benefits.
Made from the flesh of pressed avocados, avocado oil has a mild flavour but a high smoking point and therefore can be used for all cooking purposes. Avocado oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and has a low content of polyunsaturated fats. Due to its mild flavour, avocado oil is a versatile ingredient and can also be used in baking.
The smoking point is 520°F and can be used for frying, roasting and baking.
The next on the list is flaxseed oil. Popular in the vegetarian and vegan diet, flaxseed oil is abundant in omega-3 ALA and provides a nutty flavour to your dishes. It can effectively regulate cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and can also be consumed by people who suffer from high blood pressure.
A quick fact on flaxseed oil-
It requires refrigeration and should be kept in dark containers. These precautions should be maintained because they have high levels of monounsaturated fats and they can spoil quickly if they are exposed to heat. They turn rancid and oxidize quickly.
Flaxseed oil has a very low smoking point of around 225°F and therefore should be only used for salad dressings and drizzling.
Made from fresh or dried coconut meat, coconut oil became popular after Paleo and keto diets shot to fame. Coconut oil consists of 90℅ saturated fat and is considered as a natural source of medium-chain triglycerides.
According to some studies it is seen to increase good HDL in the body whereas in other research it is observed to increase triglycerides and bad LDL. The studies are inconsistent and therefore more observations need to be made to come to a proper conclusion. However, coconut oil is popular cooking oil and with a smoking point of 450°F, it can be easily for baking and sauteing but we do advise you to use this oil in moderation.
Apart from these above-mentioned cooking oils, there are some other cooking oils also which can be used in dishes like:
There are certain tips that you should keep in mind while using these oils like:
- Most of these healthy oils do not possess all the nutrients required for the proper functioning of the body. Therefore do a rotation of the cooking oils so that the body can get all the nutrients.
- Opt for natured, organic and chemical-free cooking oils for additional benefits for the body
- Go for extra virgin oils instead of refined as, during the refining process, all the nutrients get lost.
Now there you go, everything you need to know about healthy cooking oils. These cooking oils due to the abundance of monounsaturated fats in them are extremely sensitive to heat, therefore, keep them in a dark container in the refrigerator.
Also do keep in mind the smoking point of these oils so that it does not cause any damage when ingested by the body. Now go on, include these oils in your diet and we also advise you to consult your dietician or nutrition before doing so for guidelines and instructions.