Guide to Choosing Oils
How To Choose The Best Oils For Cooking
WHAT IS SMOKE POINT?
The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it starts to give off smoke. This is a sign that the oil is oxidizing, meaning the is developing a rancid smell and taste and losing its nutrients! So… it is important to choose oils that have a higher smoke point than the temperature you are cooking at.
WHAT IS A HEALTHY OIL?
A healthy oil is low in saturated fats and high in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3! Too much saturated fat in the diet can increase your risk of getting a heart attack. Eating omega-3 fats has been proven to reduce your risk of obesity, inflammation, and atherosclerosis (the clogging of arteries which can lead to a heart attack) by clearing bad fat from the body (click here for the proof).
A healthy oil is also rich in other nutrients such as antioxidants. Choose organic cold-pressed (unrefined) oils that have not undergone high levels of processing to preserve all nutrients.
Make sure to buy the organic version of a cold-pressed oil. Cold-pressed oils have not been refined, which means their pesticide content have not been properly removed. So…. remember to buy cold-pressed oils only if they are organic to keep from being exposed to environmental toxins. If you cannot find an organic version, then it is more safer to buy the refined oil because their pesticide content has been completely removed.
SO... WHAT OIL SHOULD I USE?
For none to low heat cooking:
CHIA OR FLAXSEED OIL
These oils have a low smoke point of 225F but a very high omega-3 content. Chia seed oil is made up of 61% and flaxseed is made up of 53% of omega-3 fat. These oils are the best choices to use to put on your salad as a dressing.
For medium/low to high heat:
This oil has a high smoke point of 475F as well as high omega-3 content. Try to use this oil as much as possible when cooking as it can withstand high temperatures without going rancid.
HOW SHOULD I STORE OILS?
Keep the oils stored in a cold area, preferably slightly below room temperature to keep the oil fresh for a longer period of time.
Store oil in a dark area away from the light. Light can oxidize the oil which causes it to spoil more quickly and lose freshness. Choose oil bottles that are tinted to limit the amount of light entering the bottle.
Make sure your oils are stored in containers or bottles that are sealed tight. Oxygen that enters the bottle can cause the oil to oxidize and produce a rancid smell.