Is your cooking oil healthy? Here’s what the experts say…

You’ve probably heard and been advised time and again to read the nutrition labels on the foods you consume, but have you ever considered also researching the healthiness of your cooking oil? Cooking oils are categorized based on the dominant type of fatty acid each contains: Polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats.

The type and allocation of fatty acids contained in a cooking oil is what makes it healthy or unhealthy. When you are frying food, oils high in polyunsaturated fats should be avoided, while oils high in saturated or monounsaturated fats are more desirable because they are more resistant to heating. Experts say that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fats are healthier for you and improve blood cholesterol levels.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, cooking oils that contain polyunsaturated fats may improve heart health. What’s also important to consider is the fats in the oils and what you are specifically using it for. Beyond just reading the labels on oil, follow the storage requirements! For most oils, you should store them oil in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

So, which cooking oils are the healthiest? Here’s what the experts have to say about some of the cooking oils we’ve grown accustomed to using:

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is extracted from the fruit of avocado trees, and is available refined or unrefined.

Health Benefits: Avocado is rich in heart-healthy fats and is shown to reduce inflammation, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It may also reduce symptoms associated with arthritis.

Fatty Acid Breakout:

28% polyunsaturated
65% monounsaturated
7% saturated

Avg. Smoke Point: 482°F

Canola Oil

Canola oil is a plant-based oil extracted from the canola plant.

Health Benefits: Canola oil is known as one of the best oils for hearth health, and is a good source of Vitamins E & K. Experts consider this oil “healthy” because it is low in saturated fat.

Fatty Acid Breakout:

31% polyunsaturated
62% monounsaturated
7% saturated

Olive Oil

Olive oil is made from pressed olives and is available as pure, extra virgin and virgin olive oil.

Health Benefits: Olive oil has been touted for lowering the risks of certain types of cancer, improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Experts believe that people who regularly consume extra-virgin olive oil have a lower risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

Fat Breakout:

8% polyunsaturated fats
78% monounsaturated fats
14% saturated fats

Avg. Smoke Point: 375°F

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts and is good for high heat cooking. It is slow to oxidize because of its high saturated fat content.

Health Benefits: Coconut oil is filled with a high level of saturated fat, which can help your body burn fat. This oil is also known to raise HDL (good) cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Fatty Acid Breakout:

2% polyunsaturated
6% monounsaturated
92% saturated

Avg. Smoke Point: 350°F

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is extracted from grape seeds during the process of wine making.

Health Benefits: Grapeseed oil has a high amount of vitamin E, which helps support the immune system. It also contains polyphenols that are known to fight premature aging and polyunsaturated omega-6 fats, which help lower cholesterol.

Fat Breakout:

73% polyunsaturated
17% monounsaturated
10% saturated

Avg. Smoke Point: 420°F 

Corn Oil

Corn oil is a highly refined product that is extracted from the germ of the corn kernel.

Health Benefits: Corn oil is a 100% fat oil that contains a unique combination of heart-healthy compounds such as linoleic acid, phytosterols and vitamin E which may lower the risk of heart disease.

Fatty Acid Breakdown:

55% polyunsaturated
28% monounsaturated
13% saturated

Avg. Smoke Point: 450°F 

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds of the sunflower.

Health Benefits: Sunflower oil promotes heart health, and has one of the highest levels of vitamin E of all oils but you should avoid the sunflower oil in packaged foods to maintain the health benefits.

Fatty Acid Breakdown:

40% polyunsaturated
45% monounsaturated
10% saturated

Avg. Smoke Point: 478°F

-BlackDoctor.org