Cooking oil is a common condiment or ingredient used in most dishes and foods that we prepare in the kitchen. But there are many different types of cooking oils available, and not all of them can be used the same way. It’s because each requires different temperatures, and they have a different shelf life and nutritional values, as well. Even though cooking oils have many similarities, their major differences can still lead to a possible culinary fail.
If you are learning how to cook or prepare different meals, then aside from familiarizing yourself with the different tools in the kitchen, you also need to be familiar with the different types of cooking oils and how they are used. To help you figure out which types of fat should be used in cooking meals, here’s a list of the different types of cooking oils and how they should be used.
Canola contains a near-even ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, which is believed to help battle cancer, asthma, and as well as arthritis. Aside from that, canola oil also has alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that may play a role when it comes to weight maintenance.
Canola oil is a good option for everyday cooking. You can use it in cooking or frying eggs and chicken. This type of cooking oil can also ensure high levels of heat. It also has a neutral flavor, meaning it will not overpower the taste of the dishes you are cooking.
Coconut oil contains some amazing benefits that come from using it on your skin, hair, and of course, in your food. It is said that fats coming from coconut oil can be converted into energy more easily compared to other fats. This can help in boosting metabolism, aiding weight loss, and curbing appetite.
If you are using heavy fats when cooking, you can replace them with coconut oil because it is healthier. It has a moderate-heat roasting level, making it great for sautéing and roasting. It can also add good taste to baked goods. Aside from that, you can also mix coconut oil into your morning brew for an added taste and extra boost. However, you should avoid using it in vinaigrettes and marinades because it can become solid at room temperature.
When you see the word “vegetable”, you might automatically think that it’s healthy. However, that is not the case when it comes to vegetable oil. It’s because many brands of this type of oil are highly processed and are simply refined extractions of different seeds. Since it has questionable ingredients, it can typically cause an imbalance in the recommended ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This means it can lead to cancers and many other health-related issues. Therefore, when cooking or preparing meals, try to skip using vegetable oils. There are many other flavorful and healthy cooking oils you can use that do not have any harmful effects on the body.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is an unrefined cooking oil that is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. It is the highest quality of olive oil that portrays the true taste of olives. This type of cooking oil is untouched by chemicals or heat. Meaning, it contains more natural vitamins and minerals.
It is kind of challenging to cook using extra virgin olive oil because it has a lower smoke point compared to other oils. It can also burn at a lower temperature. And since it costs higher compared to other cooking oils, you just might want to save it for dipping and dressing, instead of using it for cooking.
Sunflower Seed Oil
A sunflower seed oil also contains pretty impressive health benefits. It is believed to improve heart health, lower bad cholesterol, boost energy, and as well as help in fighting cancer. You can use this type of cooking oil in searing fish, chicken, and tofu because it has a high smoke point.
Avocado oil is a super versatile and delicious type of cooking oil. Unlike other cooking oils that are pressed from seeds, it is made of the same creamy goodness that makes guacamole. It is a heart-healthy oil that contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help in preventing high blood pressure, heart disease, and arterial damage.
You can actually cook just about anything using avocado oil because it has a high smoke point and delicious taste. For example, you can use it in making homemade mayonnaise. Also, you can skip using sugar when you cook with avocado oil because it is naturally sweet.
Flaxseed oil contains lots of health benefits. However, its taste is not that good. Based on studies, ingesting flaxseed oil daily can have a positive effect on your digestive system. Aside from that, it can also be a natural way of treating constipation. Flaxseed oil is also linked to helping prevent heart disease and reduce high cholesterol levels.
When cooking using flaxseed oil, avoid high heat, and be frugal. It’s because it tends to have a funky smell and flavor if too much of it is added. You can also use this oil lightly in making a dressing, as a finishing touch, and as well as in a smoothie.
Ghee is clarified butter that has gained recognition with diets when it comes to cutting out dairy. It does not have milk protein, making it suitable for people who are dairy-intolerant. This type of oil is a great source of fat-soluble vitamins. It has an intense nutty flavor compared to butter. However, it should be used in moderation because it is composed entirely of fat.
It is used in cooking, just like how butter is used. It has a high smoke point, making it work in multiple ways. You can also leave ghee at room temperature because it does not contain dairy. It can also be a perfect spread for toast.
Hempseed oil is also known as hemp oil. It contains properties that can help in reducing cholesterol, control metabolism, and heal the skin. This oil can be found in many natural body care products, but it can also be used in foods. It has a subtle flavor that adds a great element to a lot of recipes.
It is not best to used hempseed oil for cooking because it loses all its nutrients and flavor when it reaches a high temperature. You can use it instead as a finishing oil. You can add it to your hummus, smoothies, and sandwich spreads to get all of its health benefits.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is rich in vitamins A, K, E, and as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This type of cooking oil has a rich green color and nutty flavor, making it a great addition to a dish. You can use it best for light sautéing and low heat baking. It’s because it can lose some of its nutritional value when heated. Aside from that, the pumpkin seed oil is also perfect for making salad dressing, dip, marinade base, and as well as a pair for ice cream.
Sesame oil is rich in antioxidants that can help in slowing down cell growth and replication. It can also aid in lowering blood pressure and blood sugar, and as well as in improving skin. It has a very distinct taste, and it will add a nutty flavor to any dish. Aside from that, sesame oil can also provide 17% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K for bone support and blood clot prevention.
Sesame oil is suitable for most cooking purposes because it has a high smoke point of 410 degrees. You can also find cold-pressed sesame oil, which is great for making dressings, vinaigrettes, and marinades. There’s also toasted sesame oil that can bring some bold flavor to Asian dips and stir-fries.
Walnuts are known to be filled with nutritional benefits, and so as walnut oil. It is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and also contains iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. It has a rich and nutty flavor. Aside from that, walnut oil can also keep diastolic blood pressure levels down and help the body respond better to stress.
It is best to use walnut oil uncooked and shouldn’t be used at high temperatures. It’s because it can become slightly bitter when cooked. It is a great addition to salad dressings, and as well as pasta.
Peanut oil is high in calories but low in saturated fats. It has a bold nutty-sweet taste and is made up of mostly monounsaturated fatty acids that can help in lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol in the body. However, you shouldn’t go too heavy on this cooking oil because it is high in omega-6, which can mess up the omega 3:6 ratio, causing health issues. When choosing peanut oil, stick to those unrefined, cold-pressed versions. They can be a bit pricier, but they are healthier compared to those you typically see in grocery stores, which are refined, bleached, and deodorized.
You can use peanut oil in cooking many dishes, usually Asian ones. It has a high smoke point, making it great for frying.
Grapeseed oil is commonly seen in hair and skin products ingredients. But it can also be useful when it comes to cooking. This type of cooking oil has a simple taste that will not overpower other ingredients. It is also less expensive compared to extra virgin olive oil. When buying grapeseed oil for cooking, make sure that it is labeled food grade. This oil is filled with essential fatty acids and vitamin C. However, you need to consume it in moderation because it also has a high amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which can increase inflammation and cause weight gain.
You can also use grapeseed oil in any type of cooking due to its very high smoking point. You can use it for sautéing, roasting, searing, and frying. Aside from that, you can also add it to vinaigrette and marinade.
These are the different types of cooking oil. By knowing these types and what each of them is for, you can be sure that the next time you cook dishes, you are using the right type of cooking oil.