Healthy Cooking Oils: Why They Matter
Using healthy cooking oils like canola oil, safflower oil, and olive oil can have a huge impact on your heart, your appearance, and your overall level of health. This article explores the nutritional content of the three most healthy cooking oils, along with practical tips on how to use them in your kitchen. Making these healthy cooking oils a part of your cooking can increase your vibrancy and resilience in everyday activities, and lower your cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk level for serious diseases and illnesses. Even if you’re not concerned about your cholesterol levels, the regular use of any of these healthy cooking oils in place of fattier, unhealthy oils will help you feel better, lose weight, and fight the aging process. Read on and get to know the three most healthy cooking oils, plus learn a few tips on how and when to use each one.
High Heat: Canola Oil
Canola oil packs a major dose of monounsaturated fat, which is often called the “healthy heart fat,” and with scientifically demonstrated reason. Nutritional experts agree that including a moderate amount of monounsaturated fat in your daily diet is great for your system, and especially your heart. Using healthy cooking oils like canola oil is one of the easiest ways to slip monounsaturated fat into your meals without taking on lots of other kinds of fat. Healthy cooking oils like canola are low in “bad” fat, aka saturated fat, so you can use them without worry. Plus, canola oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a key component of heart health. Canola oil is great for high heat cooking, and can easily take the place of peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying and searing.
Medium Heat: Safflower Oil
Safflower oil is rich in polyunsaturated fat, which includes lots of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids have been show to help boost your system against illnesses, and also help regulate your mood and mental health. Among healthy cooking oils, safflower is ideal for cooking tasks that require medium to medium-high heat. This includes sautéing and stir-frying. If a recipe calls for sesame oil, as many stir-fry recipes do, safflower oil makes a health smart substitute. Safflower oil is also one of the best healthy cooking oils for baking, as the gentle, understated taste of safflower oil lets your other ingredients shine through.
Low/No Heat: Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the tastiest healthy cooking oils. Not only is olive oil low in calories and polysaturated fat, but like canola oil it’s very high in monounsaturated fat, which is great for your body. Many Italian and Mediterranean dishes call for olive oil, so you may not even have to make substitutions to use this healthy cooking oil in your meals. Olive oil is ideal for low heat cooking, and for no-heat dishes. If you’re working with something that needs to be simmered, or cooked on low heat to avoid scorching, or just needs to be tossed in oil before serving, it’s probably time to break out the olive oil. For cold dishes like green salads, olive oil is a standout among healthy cooking oils. Olive oil has a distinctive flavor, so you can’t expect it to blend into the background of a dish the way that canola oil might. However, you can expect olive oil to add depth and interest to anything from a three bean salad to a traditional pasta sauce to a simple omelet.