I was in Sprouts Farmer’s Market today looking at the different organic cooking oils they had and it got me thinking that I am not very educated about what cooking oils are best for different dishes. I was also not sure which oils were the best as far as health is concerned. So I decided to do a little research to make some sense of it. Here is what I found:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The benefits – High in monounsaturated fats, lowers bad cholesterol levels while raising the good.
Uses – Salad dressings and drizzled over cooked dishes for flavor.
The benefits – Rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. High in monounsaturated fats. Mild flavor and can withstand high heats.
Uses – Sauteing, frying, and baking.
The benefits – Rich in monounstaurated fats and polyunsaturated fats. May help lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and increase good cholesterol. Rich nutty flavor and high heat tolerance.
Uses – Asian flavored dressing and marinades or stir-fries.
The benefits – Virgin coconut oil may actually reduce bad cholesterol despite its high saturated fat content. Read more about the benefits of coconut oil.
Uses – A butter substitute in baking. I also use coconut oil for making pancakes and waffles.
The benefits – High in polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. A bold delicious flavor.
Uses – Sauces, dressings, or a finishing oil.
Tip! – To extend the shelf life of oils store them in your refrigerator.