The type of cooking oil you choose will have a significant effect on your health overtime. It is imperative to understand which oils are safest and most hazardous, since heat affects the structure of your oil and will determine if the oil is healthy or harmful. Read on to understand what the best and worst types of cooking oils are for your body.
What are the worst cooking oils to use?
Unfortunately, the worst types of oils to use are the most commonly used ones – the vegetables oils. They are dangerous – not because frying it creates trans-fats – but because the high heat will cause the oils to oxidize, which will destroy the antioxidant properties. This also create free radicals which cause inflammation, accelerate aging, and promote disease. Unfortunately, these can cause more damage than trans-fats can.
What are the best cooking oils to use?
The best cooking oils that are the safest and most stable to use are saturated fats (animal fats and certain non-animal fats), as these have a high smoke point and can be cooked in high heat. For instance, coconut oil is one of the best type of cooking oil to use since it has the highest content of saturated fat (91.6%!) out of any other animal fat or vegetable oil. As a result, it won’t oxidize at high temperatures.
Don’t be afraid of the fat content in coconut oil – it is a medium-chain triglyceride, which means it burns like a carb. It is also high in lauric acid, which gives it incredible anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties.
ProTip: If you don’t like the taste of coconut, you can get unscented coconut oil which does not does not have the coconut flavour. If you prefer to cook with regular coconut oil, it should also lose most of its flavour during the cooking process. Note that if you put too much coconut oil, it will still have a “coconut” flavour to it though. Make sure to buy Virgin Coconut oil, as it is the highest quality.
Palm oil (51.6% saturated fat) would be a close second after coconut oil; animal fat (50%) also has a high smoke point, but depending what type of animal fat – it can be inflammatory and cause other health concerns.
What is the 2nd most stable cooking oil?
Monounsaturated fats are the 2nd most stable and best cooking oils under heat (but much less so). They can still oxidize when heated at high temperatures, so it should only be used on medium to low heat settings (especially as the content of monounsaturated fat decreases). For example, Olive Oil can become carcinogenic if heated at high heat instead of medium-low heat. Also be wary of canola oil, which can be one of the worst cooking oils because most of the crops (called rapeseed) are GMO crops, which have a very short shelf-life and have the tendency to create trans-fats.
The oils with the highest percent of monounsaturated fat are as follows:
– Macademia nut oil (84%)
– Olive oil (76%)
– Avocado oil (73.8%)
– Almond oil (65%)
– Canola oil (61.6%)
– Peanut oil (48%)
Why are Polyunsaturated Fats the worst oils for cooking?
Polyunsaturated fats are the worst types of fats to cook with since they are most unstable, sensitive to heat, and create the most free radicals even when heated on low temperature settings. They also contain more omega 6 then we need for our body, when we should be consuming more omega 3’s instead. Today, we consume 1,585% more polyunsaturated fats than we did 100 years ago, which can lead to inflammation, aging, and all sorts of diseases.
Here are some of the worst cooking oils, listed in terms of percent of polyunsaturated fat:
– Safflower oil (78.4%)
– Hemp oil (77.5%)
– Grape seed oil (73.2%)
– Flaxseed (69.1%)
– Sunflower oil (68.7%)
– Soybean oil (62%; majority is GMO)
– Corn oil (57.4%; majority is GMO)
– Cottonseed oil (54.3%; majority is GMO).
Note that there are a lot of polyunsaturated cooking oils (such as hemp oil and flaxseed oil) which can be extremely beneficial when unheated, but they should avoid being heated due to their omega-3 content.
Make sure that you choose the right oils as they can either harm or help your body in the long run. 🙂