4 Healthier Oils To Swap Out Your Vegetable Oil With
After doing a lot of research on fats and oils, I realized it was due time to throw out all my vegetable oils and replace them with healthier oils that actually offered positive health benefits.As soon as I read that companies who sell your typical vegetable cooking oil, such as canola or corn oil, use taste enhancers and food deodorizers (none of which are natural) to help the already rancid oil smell and taste better and that most of those oils are from GMO sources, I literally ran to my cupboard and emptied it of all my cooking oils. Except now I was left with just the olive oil, which is a wonderful, healthy oil to use, but I can’t use it in all the cooking or baking I do. And so I continued my research…
Here is a list of four healthier oils you can use in your baking and cooking (in order of heat tolerance, from low heat to high heat):
Olive Oil: This is the obvious one, but there are a couple of things you should know about olive oil if you haven’t already done the research. First, it shouldn’t be used for cooking or baking. Save olive oil for salad dressings. It’s not meant to be heated because heating it causes it to oxidize, which causes free radicals, which defeats the whole purpose as to why you’re trying to choose a healthier oil. Second, look for cold expeller pressed olive oil (organic if you can afford it) to ensure the least amount of processing. I keep a large bottle of extra virgin olive oil in the cupboard to drizzle over vegetables and salads and to make my own salad dressings with.
Avocado Oil: This oil has a very light avocado taste and is excellent for salad dressings and sauteing at low to medium heat (up to 375 degrees). I drizzle avocado oil over kale, spinach and other vegetables, either raw or lightly sauteed.
Walnut Oil: When baked goods, such as cookies or muffins, call for vegetable oil, this is the oil I use. It has a smoke point of 375 degrees and can be used for most baked goods. It’s also excellent in salad dressings, in fish and meat marinades and on pasta.
Coconut Oil: This oil can stand higher heat, so it’s what I use to fry or saute food in such as meats, fish, poultry and veggies. It’s also a good all-around oil for salad dressings and baking. Oddly, it doesn’t taste like coconut so you don’t need to worry that your fish and veggies are going to taste coconutty.
Other oils: If you are fortunate enough to have an artisan oil shop in your local town, you should stop by and look at all the different oils they have, such as hazelnut oil, almond oil, pistachio oil, sesame oil and so forth. You can often taste test in these specialty shops so you can try oils you’ve never tasted and buy one for the perfect salad dressing or sauteing oil.
A great place to start in learning more about different oils, their heat points, how to use them and recipes is the La Tourangelle site. I typically buy this brand of oil because it’s minimally processed, uses natural ingredients and they are sold in both of the health food stores I frequent. You can also do your own research on Amazon.com where you can see all sorts of different brands of each and read reviews on each one.