Advertisers and marketers are clever, tricking millions of people into buying and consuming cooking oils because of their low fat content. But the truth is, many “heart-healthy” cooking oils are bad for other aspects of your health and/or are made with genetically-modified and processed ingredients. So what cooking oils are the best to use? You want an oil that is made with natural ingredients; check the nutrition label for words you can pronounce. These three cooking oils are some of the best available:
- Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil (first cold pressed) contains healthy fats and antioxidants, which gives it anti-inflammatory properties. First cold pressed simply means that the olives are pressed exactly one time, at a temperature no higher than 86 degrees, to extract the purest and best quality oil from the fruit. Olive oil is best for low-heat cooking, making it a great choice for salad dressings and drizzling over pasta and other favorite dishes.
- Coconut oil: Raw virgin coconut oil often turns people away because it has the consistency of a paste rather than a liquid. However, coconut oil is a very healthy cooking oil that gives food a delightful tropical note (which can be masked by bolder flavors if desired). How healthy is it? The purest forms of coconut oil are linked to weight loss, heart health, increased metabolism and healthy skin. Though best used for low-heat cooking or baking, refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point that can handle hotter temperatures, albeit with fewer health benefits.
- Avocado oil: Avocado oil—though higher in polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), which can lead to inflammation if consumed in excess—is a healthy choice when used sparingly. It complements olive oil and coconut oil nicely because its higher smoke point makes it a better choice for frying and other high-heat cooking methods. If you tend to use this oil more often, you may want to purchase a brand that offers avocado oil with low PUFA content for an even healthier experience.
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