Are you confused about which fats and oils to cook with? Time to learn about healthy fats and oils and which ones have a high smoke point for cooking. They are good for you in small quantities.
We learned about the need for this part of our diet in Healthy and Unhealthy Fats and Oils. But, it’s crucial that we choose the right fats and oils to cook with.
Below I have listed the fats and oils I use in my kitchen after 35 years of research and hands-on experimentation.
Each has amazing health benefits and some don’t degrade during the cooking process.
1. Extra-virgin olive oil
- The best oil to use as a salad dressing.
- Also good to pour a little on top of cooked grains or vegetables once they are on your plate.
- Do not use for high-heat oven cooking. It has a low smoke point of 320°F and heat makes it susceptible to oxidative damage.
- Extra light olive oil (highly processed oil) has a high smoke point of 468°F.
- This is for sure one of the healthy fats and oils.
Olive oil has so many health benefits I include a little every day when I eat my salad. Learn more about the Health Benefits of Olive Oil.
Make sure you are purchasing the best olive oil as there are many that are not fully made from olives.
Learn About the Olive Oil Fraud
To be safe we have a list of brands we know to be real extra virgin olive oils and links if you wish to purchase online. For many of us having it delivered to your door is the only easy sure way to do so.
2. Almond oil (refined)
- The high smoke point of about 420°F.
- Great for sautéing, stir-fries, baking, and also good in desserts because of its natural almond flavor.
- The more unrefined the almond oil, the greater the almond taste.
- For gourmet cooking, look for the more flavourful cold-pressed almond oil where it can be appreciated for its delicate, nutty flavor. It is best not to cook at high temperatures with it.
- Almonds themselves have many health benefits. It is one of the few alkaline protein sources.
What I like about it is that it has a light, clean flavour that does not alter the taste of the foods I am using it to cook with. Learn more about the Benefits and Use Of Almond Oil
Here is one of the almond oils that I keep in my kitchen:
- High Heat
- Specialty Oil
3. Coconut Oil Extra Virgin:
- Unrefined coconut oil (which you definitely want for health benefits) melts at 76°F and smokes at 350°F. It is is not good for very high-temperature frying but good for lower temperature sautéing.
- Great in soups, stews, curries, and very light heat stir-fries.
- Wonderful for baking cookies, cakes and pies, and chocolate making.
- Simply add a spoonful on top of your porridge instead of butter, or on your potatoes or vegetables.
It is slow to oxidize so is resistant to rancidity. It will last up to two years due to its high saturated fat content. It is best stored in the solid form below 76°F.
Coconut oil is one of the healthy fats and oils.
Make sure you buy organic unrefined coconut oil as many commercial coconut oils are refined, bleached, and deodorized containing chemicals.
This is my favorite: Kirkland Signature Cold Pressed Unrefined Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 84 Ounce:
- Cold Pressed Unrefined Coconut Oil 84 FL OZ
- USDA Organic
4. Sesame Oil
- Sesame oil may be the oldest condiment on earth. It has a strong taste, so I often use it in oriental dishes.
- The smoke point ranges from 350 – 450°F
- Light sesame oil has a high smoke point and is suitable for deep-frying, while dark sesame oil often used in Asian cuisine (from roasted sesame seeds) has a lower smoke point and is unsuitable for deep-frying but good for light stir frying, or for making an omelet.
It is revered in the Ayurvedic tradition as having potent medicinal powers. Learn more: 17 Benefits of Sesame Oil.
I use this Sesame Oil: Kevala Organic Sesame Oil, 128 Fluid Ounce
- USDA Organic Sesame Oil
- Unrefined, Cold-Pressed, Extra Virgin
- Convenient gallon BPA-free plastic container
- A great alternative for cooking and sauteing
- Perfect for Ayurvedic and massage purposes
This ORGANIC SESAME OIL is also great, 100% Pure / Undiluted / Cold Pressed. 2oz -60 ml. For Face, Hair, and Body.
A Little Goes a Long Way, Absorbs Quickly, Not Greasy, Unscented, Chemical Free, Not tested on animals and it does not contain any preservatives.
The Highest Smoke Point Oil
Avocado oil has many benefits — but for cost reasons — I don’t keep it in my kitchen all the time.
5. Avocado Oil
- Very high smoke point of 500°F! It can withstand the heat and is full of healthy fats.
- Great for sautéing, stir-fries, frying, baking — and great in dressings too.
- It’s expensive.
Chosen Foods 100% Avocado Cooking Oil, 1L Bottle (33.8fl)
- Cold-pressed and naturally refined.
- Non-GMO verified.
The Lowest Smoke Point Oil to Never Cook With
6. Flaxseed Oil
- Never cook with flaxseed oil. It has a very low smoke point of 225°F.
- You can use a little in salad dressing or pour it on your grain or vegetables that are already cooked to get the essential fatty acids. Learn about where the oil comes from: Flaxseed is Full of Many Health Benefits and Uses
The Fat That is Good to Cook with But Not for Strict Vegans
Ghee is a purified form of clarified butter used as cooking oil throughout India. It has been purified of all moisture and solids so it can be used at higher temperature and is much more resistant to becoming rancid than clarified butter.
- ‘Highish’ smoke point between 410 – 485°F depending on the purity of the ghee.
- Great in soups, stews, curries, very light heat stir-fries.
- Gourmet quality – Made from non-homogenized cow’s milk from springtime thru the fall.
- Packed in non-leaching PET plastic container and lid that are BPA free. Search B009P1995W Amazon for the same product packed in a glass container.
- Pure Indian Foods was the first ghee brand to receive the Whole30 Approved seal in 2011.
How Much Oil To Use? Warning!
Oil is essential in our diet and now about the healthy fats and oils.
I even use it in my specialized diets and detoxes.
That being said, oil is a fat and too much can make you fat. One tablespoon contains 120 fat calories. Therefore:
I include just enough to get the health benefits or the necessary cooking effect.
- I use the minimum I can in my healthy baking and even in my healthy chocolate.
- I lighten many of my salad dressings simply by adding water to the recipe.
You can also learn how to plan and prepare super healthy meals with my
2-5-30 Healthy Diet Online Courses.