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Know Your Cooking Oils

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.

Canola Oil

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.

Sesame Oil

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.

Coconut Oil

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.

Walnut Oil

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.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

3 Comments on Know Your Cooking Oils

  • Shelby

    I also love Grapeseed oil. I use it to saute foods and in salad dressings. I’ve heard that it is a very healthful oil and I love the taste of it. It has a different flavor than olive oil. Also, I believe that Hazelnut oil is very good for you and can withstand high heat. I haven’t bought any yet but my friend loves it.

  • Wonderful! Thanks for the recommendations. :)

  • kimmy d

    I love grapeseed, as well. I use it for everything from aromatherapy- as a base- to salad dressing. But it has a low smoke point, so not good for frying.