What oils should I cook with?

I've been cooking with olive oil for a while now; it's always been the "healthy oil" to cook with.  And it still is but there are many other oils to reap health benefits from.  Olive oil does not have a high smoke point so it may not be the best oil for every recipe.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a heart healthy oil and on the package it says, great for dressing, marinades, and sauces.  I had been cooking with olive oil all the time and then one day I actually read that on the label and thought "am I supposed to be cooking with this?"  The answer is yes, you can cook with it but it is best to use for vegetables or when you are not cooking a food for too long.  If you are cooking meat or cooking foods longer, you want to consider grape seed oil, which has a higher smoke point.  I've also been starting to incorporate coconut oil, which has a high smoke point as well.  Coconut oil has saturated fat but can be used in moderation and has many health benefits.  The other important thing to consider is refined vs unrefined oils.  Unrefined is better for your health and the most natural but will have a lower smoke point while refined is more processed but will have a higher smoke point.  I would try to have unrefined oils as much as possible and use the oils with the higher smoke points when needed.  Smoke points also tend to vary depending on the quality of the oil so shop smartly.  If you go past the smoke point of an oil, you not only minimize the nutritional benefits but there is a risk of cancer causing toxins in the food.  Here is a list of oils and smoke points so that you can start to incorporate them into your life.

    • Unrefined olive oil- 320 F
    • Unrefined canola oil- 220 F
    • Grapeseed oil- 420 F
    • Coconut oil- 350 F
    • Unrefined sesame oil- 350
    • Hemp seed oil- 330 F
    • Unrefined walnut oil- 320
    • Unrefined flax oil- 225 F

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  • Interesting and great list, i have been using olive oil too, Thank you for this information. :)

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