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What Oil Should I Use?

Does the sight of all different kinds of oil arranged on a grocery aisle leave you with the overwhelming challenge of deciding which oil is best for you? Before deciding what oil to use, it is important to know that all oils have unique properties that distinguish them from other oils.

Oils provide an alternative to saturated fats like butter. A number of oils contribute to a healthy diet but choosing what oil to use depends on the type of cooking you are doing.

Below is a list of healthy oils and their properties:

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil has a smooth and buttery mouthfeel with a mild flavor. It is extracted from the flesh of an avocado. Extraction methods and fruit maturity determine quality. Cold-pressed methods have the highest quality because it retains the most beneficial nutrients.

Known as a good source of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, avocado oil is associated with increased HDL cholesterol and reducing oxidative stress.

Smoke Point: 520 F (High)

Suitable for: Sautéing, baking, stir-frying, salad dressing, and high-heat cooking

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a fragrant oil derived from pressed olive fruits. Like avocado oil, how the oil is extracted and when the fruit is harvested determines the quality of the oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is by far the superior quality, offering numerous nutritional benefits. It is well-known as a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease along with a healthy diet.

Smoke point: 325 F (Low)

Suitable for: Sautéing, drizzling, or as a salad dressing.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extracted from either fresh or dried meat of coconut fruits. Studies involving coconut oil have had conflicting results because of its saturated fat content. Favorable studies show that it is associated with increased HDL cholesterol and heart health.


Smoke point: 350 F (Medium)

Suitable for: Sautéing, stir-frying, and baking

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is a favorite in Asian cuisine contributing its nutty flavor to dishes.

Peanut oil is a source of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. It is high in omega-6, a pro-inflammatory molecule.

Smoke Point: 450 F (High)

Suitable for: Sautéing, stir-fry, and high-heat cooking

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of plant-derived omega-3 ALA, an anti-inflammatory molecule, essential in the human body. Omega-3 is linked to lower lipid levels in the body and heart health.

Smoke point: 225 F (Very Low)

Suitable for: Drizzling and as a salad dressing

Walnut Oil

Another great plant source of omega-3 ALA is walnut oil. Walnut oil is also a good source of phytochemicals known for its beneficial health properties in our bodies.

Smoke point: 320 F (Low)

Suitable for: Drizzling and as a salad dressing

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is a flavorful oil, extracted from sesame seeds. It is a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as antioxidants. Studies show that sesame oil is associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis and hypertension. Toasted sesame seeds offer a flavorful variation, with similar extraction methods but requiring toasted sesame seeds instead.

Smoke point: 450 F (High)

Suitable for: Sautéing, and stir-frying

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