Which oils are best to cook with?


Which oils are best to cook with?

 | By Steve Walker | @SteveWalkerWeb

Oils make food tasty. Unfortunately, doctors and other health practitioners are screaming on our years about the dangers of taking oils in food. Furthermore, the tastiest food you will ever consume is mostly deep fried and dripping with fat. Supermarket shelves are full of rows and rows of oils. To avoid this confusion, here is our advice on the healthiest oils to use on your food.

What Happens to Oils When You Cook?

The process of cooking affects the chemical composition of oils. This is what makes them healthy or unhealthy. It is preferable to use stable oils when cooking, that do not go rancid or oxidize easily under high temperature. Oxidation is a radiation reaction that forms harmful compounds that are dangerous to consume.

Coconut Oil

This is considered the king of healthy cooking. Even when subjected to high temperatures, the basic structure is not destroyed. Coconut oil still retains its semi-solid state under room temperature. The fact that it does not go rancid, even in a year makes it healthy for cooking.

The benefits of using coconut oil include the presence of Lauric, a fatty acid that fights bacteria in your body and most importantly lowers cholesterol. The fat that is present in coconut oil keeps you full which can minimise your portion size. It also boosts your body metabolism which will leave you feeling healthier.


This is one of the most demonised oil. However, both real and processed butter in form of margarine are very healthy for your body. Butter is extremely nutritious with a healthy serving of vitamins A, E and K2. It also offers a rich supply of butyrate and conjugated linoleic acid. It is the sugars and proteins in butter that make it unhealthy. There is a domestic procedure of making clarified butter. This will make your kitchen healthier.

Olive Oil

This can be regarded as a celeb or pop star among cooking oils. It has also made the Mediterranean diet to be regarded as the healthiest. Olive oil has been approved because, despite having a double-bond like the unhealthy fats, it resists heat, maintaining its high healthy rating. Avoid the use of overly processed olive oil. Rather, opt for extra-virgin variety which contains anti-oxidants and more natural nutrients. Since olive oil easily gets rancid, it must be stored in a dry, cool and dark place.

Palm Oil

The name clearly indicates the plant from which the oil is extracted. This is a rich source of both saturated and monounsaturated fats. The amount of polyunsaturated fat is highly reduced. The health benefits of palm oil include a rich serving of coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin E. The healthiest palm oil variety is red or unrefined.

Another oil to consider when cooking is canola oil which offers a rich supply of omega-3 and 6. There are oils marketed as healthy but can only be used on salads. They include peanut oil and vegetable oil. They become harmful once exposed to excess heat. Avoid buying large quantities of oils and always store them in a cool, dry and dark place. Screw the lid tightly after use to keep them healthy.