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Choosing the Best Oils & their Benefits

Cooking oils play a crucial role in both enhancing flavors and supporting our health. However, not all oils are created equal. Understanding their properties and benefits can help you make informed choices in the kitchen. Here’s what you need to know...


KEY CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING OILS


  1. Smoke Point: This is the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke and break down, releasing harmful compounds. Oils with higher smoke points are suitable for high-heat cooking methods like frying and grilling, while those with lower smoke points are better for gentler cooking methods.

  2. Flavour: Oils range from neutral to robust in flavor. The flavour profile can significantly impact the taste of your dishes, so choose accordingly based on your cooking needs.

  3. Type of Fat: Opt for oils rich in healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. These fats are found in oils such as olive, and avocado. Avoid oils high in unhealthy saturated and trans fats.

  4. Quality: Cold-pressed or unrefined oils retain more nutrients and natural flavors compared to refined oils. While refined oils have higher smoke points, they may lack the health benefits of their unrefined counterparts.

  5. Health Benefits: Some oils offer additional health benefits such as vitamins, antioxidants, or omega-3 fatty acids. However, others, particularly those high in omega-6 fatty acids like vegetable and seed oils, can contribute to inflammation if consumed excessively.



BEST OILS FOR COOKING


  1. Avocado Oil Known for its high smoke point of 480°F, unrefined avocado oil is excellent for high-heat cooking methods like stir-frying and baking. It has a mild flavour and is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

  2. Coconut Oil Unrefined coconut oil has a smoke point of 350°F and adds a subtle sweetness to dishes. It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are associated with potential weight loss benefits. It’s suitable for high-heat cooking and baking.

  3. Olive Oil Extra virgin olive oil is renowned for its antioxidant content and monounsaturated fats. It has a lower smoke point (350-410°F), making it ideal for low-heat cooking, drizzling over salads, or using as a finishing oil to preserve its delicate flavor.



OILS TO AVOID


  1. High Omega-6 Oils Vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil are high in omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6 fats are essential, excessive intake can lead to inflammation, potentially increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

  2. Processed Oils These oils undergo heavy processing techniques, including high-heat extraction and deodorization, which can diminish their nutritional value and may create harmful trans fats.



Choosing the right cooking oil involves balancing smoke point, flavor, and nutritional benefits. By opting for oils that align with your cooking needs and health goals, you can enhance the flavor of your dishes while supporting overall well-being. Remember, moderation and quality are key when incorporating oils into your diet for optimal heal.


To learn more about the importance of healthy fats in your diet and using oils that can benefit your health, feel free to reach out to me. Let's chat about how you can make informed choices that support your well-being and culinary enjoyment! Shoot me an email at wellness@helenpaquette.com







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